Man Who Took Fire Engine And Collided With Motorcyclist Could Face Jail

A part-time worker at a fire prevention firm who took a fire engine for an illegal drive ended up causing severe injuries to a motorcyclist, a court has heard.

The collision happened after David James, 56, asked the fire prevention firm if he could clean the vehicle in their yard.

He then drove the vehicle onto a public road, despite having no licence or insurance, said Andrew Conboy, prosecuting at Nottingham Magistrates Court

James missed a turn on his way back to the premises and ended up hitting a motorcyclist.

The biker ended up with a bleed on the brain, seven fractured ribs, a dislocated elbow and now suffers from kidney problems.

James admitted to taking the fire engine without consent, no insurance and no driving licence for the vehicle on September 22.

The owner of the private firm told the court that he received a text message from James, who works as a fire marshal.

James had asked to visit the premises to wash the fire engine, which was once owned by a fire service.

“He said he would never have agreed to Mr James driving the fire engine,” said Mr Conboy.

Ran Johal, mitigating, said that James called an ambulance and remained with the injured motorcyclist until help arrived.

“This is not someone who initially had any intention to drive. It was simply to wash the fire engine in the yard and move it around the yard.

“He made a stupid decision and had simply gone a short distance out of the yard. He missed the entrance and turned and went to the second entrance.

“That is where the collision occurred,” said Mr Johal.

James then phoned the proprietor to say that the fire engine had been damaged in the collision.

The court heard that James works full-time at a security firm which described him as “trustworthy, reliable member of staff and valuable part of the team.”

Mr Johal added: “He shows remorse. This was not a premeditated offence.”

Magistrate Allison Folkett, who sat with another JP, ordered a probation report and told James this would look at the prospect of prison.

“It will look at the punitive element and a custodial sentence and a suspended sentence as well,” she added.

In a statement, the victim said he had been taking the motorbike to someone who planned to buy it.

He has been unable to work since the accident, and the “long term prognosis is not known.”

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