HAILSHAM: Driver crashed while trying to retrieve inhaler from footwell

A 38-YEAR-OLD driver careered into two cottages when she leaned over to try and find her inhaler, a court heard last Tuesday (April 19).

Sonia Barnett of Mortain Park, Hailsham was driving through Lower Dicker, on November 1, when she reached into the passenger footwell and clipped a traffic island shortly before 10pm.

Her Daewoo spun off the road, damaging the gas and electrical supplies to two road-side cottages, just off the A22.Mark Kately, prosecuting, said, “The vehicle spiralled out of control and ploughed into a couple of nearby properties.”

Presiding magistrate David Wallis said, “You could have easily had a vehicle coming the other way. It could have been a lot worse.

“You could easily have injured someone driving the other way.”

Debris from the crash flew off and hit a passing police car. Officers arrested Barnett at the scene.

Barnett, who is unemployed, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court.

She also appeared in front of magistrates on April 4 for driving without insurance and was given six points on her licence.

Barnett, who often drives the route to get between Hailsham and Lewes to get to bonfire society meetings, said, “I went to grab the inhaler, but it was just a stupid mistake on my part.”

Barnett was fined £67 and ordered to pay £60 in court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Magistrates put another five points on her licence, taking her one short of disqualification.