National Express driver sentenced with 12 month community order

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The driver of a National Express coach that crashed into a police car dealing with a broken down vehicle has been sentenced to a 12-month community order.

David Read, 38, crashed into the back of the Dorset Police car on the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road in February. Last month, he was found guilty of dangerous driving and lost his job.

Read – who had previous driving convictions – was disqualified from driving, ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work and must pay £620 costs, along with a £60 victim surcharge.

Though the incident caused significant damage to the police car and the coach, no-one was hurt.

During the sentencing at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court, district judge Stephen Nicholls said he took into account where the crash happened, that it was in the early hours and the area was unlit.

The court heard that Read, of Branksome Wood Road, was convicted in 2002 of driving without due care and attention and, more recently, of using a mobile phone at the wheel and eight offences of not complying with a tachograph.

Speaking after the case, Insp Matt Butler said: “[Sgt] Wallbridge had left his blue flashing lights and rear red lights on as a warning to motorists approaching the incident.

“For whatever reason, David Read failed to see the warning lights that morning and as a result he collided with the police car. Thankfully no-one was seriously injured.”

“I would like to remind motorists to take care when driving and remember that there could be an unexpected hazard around any corner. Be alert and allow yourself ample braking time.”