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JAILED: Herdsman causes £47,000 worth of damage after crashing tractor into house

A herdsman who ploughed his tractor into a house before fleeing the scene was moments from killing or injuring a woman inside.

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JAILED: Piers Morris (Pics: Worcester News)
JAILED: Piers Morris (Pics: Worcester News)
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JAILED: Herdsman causes £47,000 worth of damage after crashing tractor into house

Piers Morris has been jailed for 10 months after crashing his tractor into a house in Bishampton, near Worcester, before reversing out of the gaping hole and driving off.

 

Julie Palmer had been unpacking shopping in the utility room moments before he destroyed it.

 

The tractor, which caused £47,500 of damage, was still covered in rubble when Morris was arrested in a nearby field.

 

The 30-year-old did not check whether Julie or husband Martin Palmer were safe.


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He was jailed at Worcester Crown Court on Friday following the crash on September 18.

 

Morris, who has twice before been convicted of drink driving, admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failure to provide a specimen of breath for analysis.

 

Laura Culley, prosecuting, said the crash caused significant structural damage to the house. Morris of Malvern View, Bishampton was seen by a witness driving the tractor erratically before the crash.

 

She leapt onto the grass verge to get out of his way, fearing she would be run over, the court was told.

She said: "Julie Palmer was upstairs in the property when she heard what she thought was an explosion. She was very lucky. Moments earlier she had been in the affected part of the property (the kitchen/utility room) unpacking shopping.

 

"She felt faint and physically sick. It was an extremely shocking incident. It has left the entire family devastated."

 

Mr Palmer had been downstairs in his office. When he went outside he found both the walls to the house and garden had been completely demolished.

 

White goods in the utility room were also damaged. The tractor crossed onto the wrong side of the road, ploughing across grass and a footway, through the garden wall and into the house.

 

Even now the house remains boarded up and the couple have suffered sleepless nights since.

 

Repairs will take 12 weeks to complete. The matter is now in the hands of insurance companies.

Miss Culley said: "He (Mr Palmer) can’t believe the defendant drove off not knowing whether anyone was under the rubble left behind. The tractor was found in a nearby field and the defendant next to it. It still had rubble from the property on its front" she said.

 

Police found Morris in a nearby field. He was described as ’appearing drunk’ and refused to give a specimen of breath, claiming he had a stent in his heart and could not give a sample for medical reasons.

 

"He said ’I would rather you gave me a spanking than have to go through this process’" Miss Culley said.

 

When he arrived at the police station he refused again to give a sample of breath. He claimed he had previously suffered broken ribs but a nurse at the station who examined him could find no medical reason why he could not give a specimen.

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Morris has four convictions for seven offences, including two drink driving offences from 2007 when he received a 16 month driving ban and from 2012 when he received a 44 month ban.

 

Jason Patel, defending, said Morris had expressed 'sincere remorse' and had wanted to write a letter of apology to the Palmers but believed he had to wait until court proceedings were complete.

 

Mr Patel said Morris had entered timely guilty pleas at the magistrates court. Morris had been drinking with his partner until 3am before he was asked the next day to pick up a piece of equipment by one of his parents.

 

When he arrived in the tractor it was not ready to collect and he was returning to the farm when the crash happened. He blamed the crash was on something falling off the tractor's dashboard.

 

Panic

 

"When the incident occurred he banged his head and, in respect of the situation, he panicked" Mr Patel said.

 

Recorder Allan Dooley said: "This was a particularly dangerous piece of driving and a life-threatening accident.

 

"You have not just caused inconvenience to these people, you have put them in fear of living next to the roadside, I have no doubt.

 

"You failed to stop after the accident which compounded the course of driving.

 

"You failed to provide a specimen of breath, the clear implication being that you knew you were under the influence of alcohol.

 

"You have appeared before for driving with excess alcohol and don't seem to have learned a lesson."

 

Recorder Dooley jailed Morris of Malvern View, Bishampton, for 10 months and banned him from driving for seven years and five months.

 

He cannot drive again until he passes and extended driving retest and must pay a £140 victim surcharge. His licence was endorsed.

 

Source: Worcester News

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