Teenage Jailed For Bothergate Horror Crash

8th November 2019


A speeding teenage motorist whose car ploughed into pedestrians on one of Carlisle's busiest streets - leaving two with life-changing injuries - has been locked up for 29 months.

The city's crown court heard how Owen Luke Brown, 19, crashed after speeding along Botchergate in his Ford Fiesta on a busy Saturday night.

Witnesses said he drove so fast that his car's engine was engine was screeching and revving.

When a taxi pulled across his path to turn off the road, the teenager swerved, slamming into pedestrians who were standing outside the Border Rambler pub. Two suffered horrific injuries.

Several other people suffered less serious injuries, and some were knocked out.

The two most seriously injured people needed surgery, with one suffering back and facial injuries as well as a bleed on the brain.

He now faces a long road to recovery, said prosecutor Kim Whittlestone.

The man was also left suffering post traumatic stress disorder.

The injured also included two Whitehaven men - one in his 20s and another in his 50s and a Carlisle pensioner.

At an earlier hearing before Carlisle Crown Court, Brown, of Dalston Road, Carlisle, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The taxi driver involved in the crash, Stephen Reay, 57, admitted careless driving.

Miss Whittlestone, outlining the facts, said the teenager drove at between 48 and 54mph in the moments before the 7pm collision on March 15.

At the time, Botchergate was full of people, many standing outside pubs chatting.

As they looked on, the teenager - 19 now but 18 at the time - crashed into a group of people outside the Border Rambler pub.

CCTV footage shows the horror on the faces of pedestrians, many of whom rushed to the scene to help.

"If he had been travelling within the 30mh speed limit and braked, the collision with the turning Skoda would not have occurred," said Miss Whittlestone.

"The speed he was travelling also meant that on colliding with the Skoda his vehicle richocheted into nearby pedestrians, causing injury

"This would not have happened but for his speed."

Paul Tweddle, for Brown, said the teenager had not intended to harm anybody.

"He is profoundly remorseful," said the lawyer.

Mr Tweddle said what happened was being the result of immaturity and folly.

"He is a decent, honest, hard-working young man," said the lawyer. "He has written a letter expressing his utmost remorse and dismay and he would wish personally to anyone he has injured."

For Reay, of Cocklakes Cottages, Cumwhinton, defence barrister Philip Holden said he had an unblemished driving record and was in a very different position to the teenager.

"His driving was a momentary lapse of as opposed to a deliberate decision to poorly drive," said the barrister.

The taxi driver apologised for his lapse of concentration.

In addition to sending the teenager to a young offenders' institution, Judge Nicholas Barker banned him from driving for 56 months and ruled that he must retake his driving test. The judge imposed six penalty points on Reay's licence and fined him £400, noting that his driving that day had been uncharacteristic given his clean licence and unblemished driving history.

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