Man who caused serious road crash gets suspended jail term

Laganside Court Building
Laganside Court Building

A 25-year-old man who jumped a red traffic light on a busy Belfast junction which resulted in another motorist sustaining severe injuries was yesterday spared a jail sentence.

Matthew Spence, a software engineer from Ravenswood Crescent in Belfast, pleaded guilty to a charge of causing grievous bodily injury to the motorist by careless driving at the junction of Great Patrick Street and York Street on January 29, 2013.

He was handed a nine-month prison sentence which was suspended for two years and was banned from driving for a year.

The injured motorist had to be cut from his vehicle by firefighters before being rushed to hospital where he was treated for a number of injuries including a shattered pelvis, bruised brain, a lacerated liver and broken ribs.

Crown lawyer Joseph Murphy told Belfast Crown Court the collision occurred when the Honda being driven by Spence drove through a red light and ploughed into the side of a Ford Fiesta.

The prosecutor said the injured motorist spent three-and-a-half weeks in hospital, and remained on crutches for three months as a result of the collision.

Defence barrister Jonpaul Shields said Spence offered his “unreserved apologies” to the injured man for the “injury, pain and suffering” he caused, saying he felt “regret, remorse and a sense of responsibilty” for the result of his actions.