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Elderly women injured in crash with Christmas drug-driver

News   •   May 17, 2019 08:59 BST

Two elderly women required hospital treatment after they were involved in a crash with a drug-driver.

Toby Matthews was driving a black Honda Civic which collided with a red Hyundai i20 in Bolebrook Road, Bexhill, about 6.13pm on Sunday 2 December.

The occupants of the Hyundai – two local women aged 79 and 72 – were medically trapped, and had to be released by a combination of ambulance and fire service employees. They were taken to Conquest Hospital in St Leonards, where they were treated for serious and minor injuries.

Matthews, 37, a butcher, of Linden Road, Bexhill, failed a roadside DrugWipe, and was subsequently arrested and charged with driving with 2.1mcg of cannabis and 74mcg of benzoylecgonine (the main metabolite of cocaine) per litre of blood in his system. The legal limits are 2mcg and 50mcg respectively.

At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on 8 May, he was disqualified from driving for 16 months. He was also ordered to pay a £400 fine, £85 costs and a £40 victim surcharge.

Sergeant Dan Pitcher, of the Roads Policing Unit, said: “Even the smallest amount of drugs in your system can be enough to seriously impair your ability to drive, and anyone under the influence of substances should never get behind the wheel.

“Not only are you putting your own life at risk, you are also risking the lives of other innocent road users.

“Drug-driving destroys lives and we will continue to deal robustly with offenders as we endeavour to make our roads as safe as possible.”

A total of 240 motorists were arrested in Sussex as part of Surrey and Sussex Police’s Christmas crackdown on drink and drug-drivers, which ran from 1 December 2018 to 1 January 2019.

Of those, 108 have since been convicted in court. The remaining have either been charged, released under investigation or released without charge.

These are the latest people to be convicted:

  • Troy Mengham, 20, unemployed, of Park Road, Bexhill, was arrested in Park Road, Bexhill, on 5 December and charged with driving with 7mcg of cannabis per litre of blood in his system.

    At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on 17 April, he was disqualified from driving for 36 months and sentenced to a 12-month community order, requiring him to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

  • Colin Cleaver, 53, a shop manager, of St Leonards Road, Bexhill, was arrested in Parkhurst Road, Bexhill, on 7 December and charged with driving with 2.8mcg of cannabis per litre of blood in his system.

    At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on 17 April, he was disqualified from driving for 36 months. He was also ordered to pay a £150 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

  • Craig Newell, 23, a doorman, of Cumberland Road, Bexhill, was arrested in Winchelsea Road, Eastbourne, on 8 December, and charged with driving with 64mcg of cocaine and 504mcg of benzoylecgonine in his system. The legal limits are 10mcg and 50mcg respectively.

    At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on 1 May, he was disqualified from driving for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay a £120 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

  • Stephen Giles, 27, a roofer, of Cackle Street, Brede, was arrested in Sedlescombe Road North, St Leonards, on 8 December, and charged with driving with 7mcg of cannabis per litre of blood in his system and driving with no insurance.

    At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on 24 April, he was disqualified from driving for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay a £400 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

  • Iain Freeman, 39, a sales representative, of Silverdale Road, Eastbourne, was arrested in Royal Parade, Eastbourne, on 11 December and charged with driving with 7mcg of cannabis per litre of blood in his system.

    At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on 24 April, he was disqualified from driving for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay a £350 fine, £85 costs and a £35 victim surcharge.

  • Kim Buckle, 27, a scaffolder, of Foundry Road, Yapton, was arrested in Yapton Lane, Arundel, on 14 December, and charged with driving with 59mcg of cocaine and 618mcg of benzoylecgonine per litre of blood in his system.

    At Worthing Magistrates’ Court on 3 May, he was disqualified from driving for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay a £100 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

  • Maxwell Afriyie, 28, a car salesman, of Denmark Hill, London, was arrested in Mill Lane, Worthing, on 21 December and charged with driving with 2.3mcg of cannabis per litre of blood in his system.

    At Worthing Magistrates’ Court on 23 April, he was disqualified from driving for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay a £120 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

  • Rosie Pears, 28, a student, of Granville Road Eastbourne, was arrested in Lottbridge Drove, Eastbourne, on 26 December and charged with driving with 8mcg of cannabis per litre of blood in her system.

    At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on 17 April, she was disqualified from driving for 36 months. She was also ordered to pay a £80 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Details of people convicted as part of the campaign will be published on our website.

If you’re prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, prepare to face the consequences. These could include the following:

  •  A minimum 12 month ban;
  •  An unlimited fine;
  •  A possible prison sentence;
  •  A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment;
  •  An increase in your car insurance;
  •  Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA.

People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving, or visit the Operation Crackdown website. 

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online. 

If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.

Author: Sam Satchell
Ref: SXP54685/2019