Speeding drink driver whose mother was killed in tragic crash seriously injures man after ploughing into him in Leeds city centre

A speeding drink driver whose mother was tragically killed in a crash narrowly avoided killing a man when he ploughed into him in a busy Leeds city centre street after drinking several pints.

Monday, 7th October 2019, 5:00 pm
Regent Street in Leeds.

William Limbert, 28, was speeding between 40mph and 50mph in Regent Street, Leeds when he hit the male pedestrian causing him serious injuries, including two fractures to his neck and a broken left leg.

Limbert, of Asket Garth, Oakwood, had drunk several pints when he offered to take his friend to Leeds Station on the evening of February 23.

CCTV footage captured Limbert travelling at speed in Regent Street in the far right hand lane. His vehicle is captured breaking sharply, before hitting the male pedestrian who was crossing the road.

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He stayed at the scene while the victim was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital.

Leeds Crown Court heard how the pedestrian suffered two fractures to his neck and had to wear a neck brace for several weeks. He also broke his left leg in two places and was still undergoing physiotherapy for his injuries six months later.

Prosecuting Anthony Moore said: "The defendant was arrested at the scene having taken a road side breath test. A further test was taken at the police station and he gave a reading of 47 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

"Reconstructions of the crash were done but it is not possible to provide a precise speed of which the defendant was travelling, but it was over 40mph. It was likely to be under 50mph but closer to the top end of that bracket. The speed limit on Regent Street is 30mph.

Limbert pleaded guilty to driving while over the prescribed limit and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

In mitigation, Matthew Harding said Limbert knew more than anyone the devastating consequences of road traffic incidents.

Mr Harding said: "He knows the risks and tragic consequences of incidents involving motor vehicles.

"This is a hardworking and decent man despite troubles in his young life.

"Up until now he has been a law abiding citizen and a grafter.

"This is a young man who will never drink and drive again and who will never drive in the manner he did that night again.

No details of the crash involving Limbert's mother were given in court, but His Honour Judge Mairs made reference to the tragedy when passing sentence.

Judge Mairs said: "Had you been stone cold sober you would have seen the pedestrian and if you were going at a proper speed you would have too. It's a mercy you didn't kill him. It is only be sheer good fortune you didn't.

"You have already lost much in your life through road traffic accident, the impact of which you have had by losing your mother.

"Your father kept your family together and you all did so well.

"Today, I have watched the pain of what you did etched on your father's face."

Judge Mairs cited "exceptional circumstances" and sentenced Limbert to two years in prison, suspended for 24 months.

He was also ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work and pay £3000 in compensation.

Limbert was disqualified from driving for four years.

Judge Mairs said: "You have been extremely fortunate today.

"You owe a great deal to your family."