Jail for 'aggressive' Warsop driver who hit two cars while attempting to overtake on A617

A617 in Pleasley.
A617 in Pleasley.

An aggressive driver was jailed nine months after hitting two cars when he pulled out to overtake on the A617 near Pleasley.

Lee Whitworth's car raked the side of one oncoming vehicle and then hit the other head-on to end 90 seconds of driving, a court heard.

One victim was a teacher whose career was hampered. The other was a man who said he was relieved that his grandson was not with him.

Whitworth, 33, of Ridgeway Terrace, Warsop will begin a three-year driving ban when released. He had denied dangerous driving in April last year but was convicted by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court.

Judge Rosalind Coe QC said that he was so close behind one vehicle that its driver could not see his bonnet.

"You were driving aggressively. It was a matter of luck that nobody was seriously injured or even killed.

"You were clearly frustrated by the speed of the cars ahead. This was a busy road with a constant flow of traffic in both directions.

"At the time of the collision, you pulled out when it was clearly unsafe to do so," she said.

He first struck a car being driven by a young teacher, who was still training. He suffered a broken foot and for months was nervous of driving or even being a passenger in a car.

His recovery reduced the classroom time he needed to qualify. He added: "It affected pupils doing GCSEs because they didn't have access to their maths teacher. That caused complaints from parents."

The other victim was unable to give a full statement because of ill health.

Dawn Pritchard, prosecuting, told the court: "He said that the first thing which went through his mind when the collision happened was that he could have had his three-year-old grandson with him.

"He said that it could have frightened him to death or worse," added Miss Pritchard.

Chris Brewin, mitigating, said that Whitworth works with autistic children, including one-to-one sessions.

"It is something he is proud of and appears to have put distance between himself from offending," he said.

"He is cycling to and from work. He leaves home at 6am and doesn't come back until 6.30pm," added Mr Brewin.

When the disqualification ends, Whitworth will have to take a tougher test to regain his driving licence.