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Man jailed for causing serious injury by dangerous driving

A driver who fled the scene of a collision near Congleton and left his passenger with serious injuries has been jailed.

Samuel Berrisford, of Mayfield Road, Biddulph, appeared at Chester Crown Court on Thursday 8 February.

The 22-year-old was jailed for 36 months for causing serious injury by dangerous driving, drink driving, and failing to stop after a collision.

At around 8pm on Saturday 13 May 2023, Berrisford and the victim, a 37-year-old woman, had driven to Sandbach where they played pool and had a few drinks.

Berrisford had been driving them back to the Biddulph area in a black Audi A4 when the victim told him he was driving too fast. She described the car as floating and bouncing over speed bumps and again told him to slow down.

The victim remembered Berrisford telling her ‘we are going to crash, lean back’, before the vehicle collided with a wall on Child’s Lane, Brownlow, near Congleton.

Berrisford exited the vehicle and asked the victim if she was OK and tried to move her, but the victim knew she was injured.

A woman who had heard the impact came out of a nearby property, but as she approached the vehicle, Berrisford ran from the scene; leaving the victim severely injured.

At around 10.35pm, Cheshire Police received a report of the one-vehicle collision from the ambulance service and attended the scene.

Officers carried out a search of the nearby area for Berrisford and he was subsequently located and arrested. A blood sample was taken which showed he had been driving above the legal limit for alcohol, with 115 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrams.

The victim suffered serious injuries and was taken to hospital, where she remained for two-and-a-half weeks.

She underwent surgery to stabilise fractures to her spine and repair a perforated bowel, among other injuries.

Berrisford was ultimately charged with the offences and pleaded guilty on Monday 8 January at Warrington Magistrates’ Court.

As well as the custodial sentence, he was handed a four-year driving ban which will start from when he is released from prison.

Following the sentence, Sergeant Jackie Cantrell said:

“I am grateful for the sentence handed to Berrisford, who not only caused a serious collision but made the cowardly decision to flee the scene and leave the victim alone with severe injuries.

“She required surgery and weeks in hospital, and although nothing will ever make her forget the traumatic events of that night, I hope the fact that Berrisford is now being held accountable for his actions will provide some closure.

“If any good can come out of this case, I hope it sends a stark warning to those who think they can treat the roads like a playground. Driving is a privilege, not a right. Careless and dangerous driving can have disastrous consequences and it is not worth ruining your life and others’.”

Pictured - Samuel Berrisford of Mayfield Road in Biddulph.

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