Co Down jockey jailed after crashing stolen car into first date

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A Co Down jockey has been jailed for 21 months after he drove a stolen car at up to 87mph head-on into a vehicle being driven by a woman he was due to meet on their first date.

Trevor Woodside, 33, was told by a judge at Downpatrick Crown Court, sitting in Newtownards, that it was an “appalling piece of driving’’ which had left his victim with “significant long-term injuries’’ both physically and psychologically.

Woodside, of Castleview, Killyleagh, had pleaded guilty to a total of four charges of causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, driving with excess alcohol and having no insurance.

Sam Magee, prosecuting, told the court that the accident happened on March 30, 2014 when Woodside was due to meet the woman for “their first date”.

He said the defendant had taken a Mercedes car belonging to his employer without his permission and had been drinking earlier in the day.

The court heard the woman was travelling from Newry to Crossgar and while en route she received a number of calls and text messages from Woodside asking about her location.

She asked him had he been drinking and he replied ‘No’.

Judge Piers Grant was told that the woman believed he was drinking and told him to “catch himself on’’ as she was aware he had no licence to drive a car.

Mr Magee said the woman was driving along the Ballydougan Road outside Downpatrick in her Volkswagen Golf car travelling at a speed of 45mph in a 60mph zone.

“As she approached the junction with the Drumcullen Road near Downpatrick race course, suddenly a black Mercedes car came at her at speed after having crossed on to her side of the road.

“The woman swerved in an attempt to avoid a collison, but to no avail.’’

The woman was knocked unconscious and later had a plate inserted into her right foot and also sustained an injury to her chest.