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Three times over the limit Gloucester civil servant crashed into a teenager having a picnic causing life-changing injuries

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 31, 2014

Comments (6)

A CIVIL servant who was three times over the drink-drive limit when he crashed into a teenage Dutch holidaymaker – causing life-changing injuries – has been jailed for two years.

David Glassonbury, 46, failed to negotiate a bend in Frampton-on -Severn and careered across the road into a parked car.

Standing by the open rear doorway of the VW Touran car was 17-year-old Derk van Dijk, who was on holiday in the UK with his family. They had pulled up for a picnic by the canal.

Prosecutor Julian Kesner told Gloucester Crown Court that people heard 'terrible screams' from Derk as Glassonbury smashed into him, virtually severing his left leg at the ankle.

Derk has since undergone numerous operations to save his leg and had to have muscle and tissue transplanted to the ankle and calf from his shoulder.

Glassonbury, pictured, a divorced father-of-three of Mendip Close, Quedgeley, admitted dangerous driving causing serious injury and driving with excess alcohol on his breath on July 14 last year.

Judge William Hart told him: "You caused an accident which led to the near amputation of Derk's left leg as he stood at the side of the family car eating a sandwich on a sunndy day in July. It happened because you were driving too fast and dangerously.

"You were doing that because you had in your system three times the legal alcohol limit.

"You must have been well aware of your impairment – you were clearly wholly unfit to drive.

"The injury to Derk has been one with considerable consequences.

"He has borne what must be a devastating injury for a young man with fortitude.

"Yet he is not full of recrimination against you or of self pity – his statement is full of optimism and positivity. Of course though the reality is that he will never be able to go entirely back to normal."

The judge, who also banned him from driving for three years, said he took into account Glassonbury's previous good character and long career in the civil service but he would be failing in his duty if he did not impose an immediate jail term for such serious offences.

Mr Kesner said that immediately after the collision Glassonbury said he had drunk three pints of cider that day – although later he changed his story and claimed he'd only had one pint but had been drinking heavily the night before.

In his victim impact statement Derk said he is still finding the injury 'painful and inconvenient' and is missing about 50 percent of his school studies because of his condition and ongoing treatment.

Defence solicitor Lloyd Jenkins said Glassonbury was consumed by guilt and had an alcohol problem at the time but had now been through detox and had not had a drink since the collision.

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  • Saffy  |  February 01 2014, 8:30PM

    Two years!so ten months and out on tag!sorry to Derk that you didn't get justice.x

    |   1
  • Kay_Powell  |  January 31 2014, 10:00PM

    Oh well, that'll certainly act as a deterrent to others! Surely a reasonable sentence should have been ten years in prison and banning from driving for life.

    |   4
  • bonzaharris1  |  January 31 2014, 12:36PM

    If you have Judge's Hart or Tabor on the bench, you can pretty much commit murder and get away with it. About time these old duffers were retired and a few Judges that are prepared to dish out proper justice were employed to wipe the smug smiles off the criminal fraternity's faces.

    |   7
  • Studley1975  |  January 31 2014, 10:28AM

    Unbelievable Punishment???!!!

    |   4
  • Justica  |  January 31 2014, 7:37AM

    Two year sentence - out after a year. That's a very small price to pay for his arrogant disregard of other people's lives by being THREE times over the limit. He will come out to no job, but will then be a liability on benefits. Disgusting human being.

    |   13
  • joner63  |  January 31 2014, 7:12AM

    I wonder how many times this idiot has drank and driven and he is a civil servant what a great advert to the civil service I hope he suffers long and hard for many years like the young man he injured

    |   14