Drunk, ‘aggressive and petulant’ speeding van driver jailed for two years for hit and run that left cyclist without an arm

Driver asked his landlord to cover for him after leaving injured cyclist for dead in the road

by Sarah Barth   February 22, 2014  

Justice (Lonpicman, Wikimedia Commons)

A drunk, ‘aggressive and petulant’ van driver who left a cyclist for dead in the road before asking his landlord to cover for him has been jailed for two years.

Northampton Crown Court heard Danny Hollowell, 25, hit Simon Simon, 59 late at night in September last year when he overtook another motorist at around 80mph.

Alex Bull, prosecuting, said Mr Simon’s arm went through the windscreen before Hollowell was then seen to “drive off at speed”.

The other car found Mr Simon on the road and took him to hospital where his right arm had to be amputated.

Ms Bull said: “There were warning signs prior to where Hollowell overtook the vehicle about hidden dips.

“The cyclist would have been clearly visible as he was wearing a high-visibility jacket and a head torch.”

Hollowell, who admitted to police he had been drinking earlier that evening, returned home, showered and later asked his landlord to say they had been to the pub together that night.

According to the Northampton Chronicle, when later presented with forensic evidence which showed tiny fragments of broken glass in his clothes, hair and shower, Hollowell admitted he had been the driver but said he thought he had struck a deer.

Hollowell pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice.

Mr Simon told the court that the collision had been life-changing.

He said: “I am right-handed so it has made it virtually impossible to carry out daily tasks. A few days ago it took me 30 minutes to get dressed.”

Recorder Timothy Spencer, sentencing, said: “This was very, very bad driving. It was aggressive and it was probably petulant as well. There was an element of drink although it is impossible to know how much was in you.”

20 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

The constant stream of stories like this puts the "cyclists are dangerous/shouldn't be allowed on the road/blah blah etc." brigade everywhere else on the net, who wheel themselves out, wind themselves up, and spew forth the same bilious tripe for every cycling or roads-related story, completely to shame.

seven's picture

posted by seven [125 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 10:55

30 Likes

2 years for dangerous driving, drunk driving and perverting the course of justice. He will be out in around 9 months, released on licence and free to carry on being a scumbag, whilethe poor vivtim tries to carry on his life with his best arm missing. Thats an obscene, fucking insult.

What planet do our judges come from? Because they are not of this earth. For those offences he should have been handed down 12 years and banned from driving for life.

posted by Critchio [121 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 11:06

69 Likes

Jailed for only 2 years and still got his licence. Unless I missed something. Pathetic.

MikeOnABike's picture

posted by MikeOnABike [40 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 11:10

40 Likes

dear god, this animal is actually allowed to drive on the road? Sure he will when he comes out, prematurely of course.

'Fucking insult' is about right ....

posted by Karbon Kev [682 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 11:35

29 Likes

No mention of a ban??

@rich22222

posted by rich22222 [149 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 11:36

18 Likes

2 years ?? How do we complain about things like this ? I'm just sick of reading these stories, no idea what 'we' can do but we've got to do something.

Poor victim, surely he can sue for some damages at least ?

Scott Spark 910 - Boardman Team Carbon - Planet X XLS

posted by colinth [191 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 11:46

18 Likes

If enough people petition the court of appeal the sentence can be increased. Just saying.

posted by caaad10 [150 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 12:04

16 Likes

I suspect the 2 years was mainly for perverting the course of justice. He would have walked if he hadn't tried to lie.

Hamster's picture

posted by Hamster [89 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 13:25

19 Likes

time to go Death Wish on van drivers

posted by anarchy [85 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 14:33

12 Likes

Should we really be focussing on the length of prison sentences? People who behave in this way quite often see prison as a holiday, where they can spend time with their mates, with decent food, gym, Sky TV, with the closure of yet another library or daycare centre needed to pay for their bed and board at the University of Crime. Prison has no fear for many of these people, and the chances are that they'll come out even more disrespectful of society than when they went in.

Prison plays a part in more serious motoring offenses, but we really must start lobbying more effectively for lifetime driving bans, by pointing out that since so many ordinary people are choosing not to drive these days, it's hardly a problem if your licence is permanently taken away for the common good.

Your average judge, would probably be appalled at the prospect of not being able to drive ever again, and that's probably why they're so reluctant to pass sentence, but the rest of us know that it's perfectly possible to manage if push came to shove, so what's the big deal when compared to removing someone from the roads that's clearly at risk of harming themselves or others.

And even if that person loses their job, that same job could then be filled by someone else, removing one person from the unemployment register, so providing the cash to "look after" the newly unemployed miscreant. So accepting a driver's job loss as mitigating circumstances is nonsense.

This is what we should be lobbying for.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 16:35

38 Likes

Whilst I agree with the points above, I'd say the length of prison sentence is important. Whilst those guilty of these may on occassion see prison as a holiday, the important thing is what 'mondeo' man sees.

If he sees these cases treated seriously with real implications for those caught, he is less likely to drive like a dick. It's not really about personal justice, its about publically recognising that such actions are unacceptable.

Personally speaking, anyone caught driving under a ban should automatically see a custodial sentence... Also, anyone flaunting the responsibilities associated with having a license (such as not getting pissed, not leaving the scene of an accident etc.) should lose any legal protection associated with being a driver.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [433 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 18:08

23 Likes

When are we going to start seeing people that cause damage to lives like this banned for life from driving? It is not a right to be able to get behind the wheel of a car, especially when you have proved successfully that you are irresponsible and devious to boot.

jaunty angle: bikes and communications
http://ragtag.wordpress.com

ragtag's picture

posted by ragtag [178 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 22:04

9 Likes

whilst I agree that focusing on the length of prison sentences is wrong, I will point out that it is only in privately run prisons that prisoners get Sky in their cells- and this is used to placate them as they get very little time out of their cells.

posted by Al__S [807 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 22:47

10 Likes

So depressing.

posted by Jonny_Trousers [186 posts]
23rd February 2014 - 0:24

7 Likes

Cause that injury in any other way with a piece of machinery, and terms like Grievous Bodily Harm and Assault will feature in the charges to be answered - so why do we persist in having that 'special exclusion' for the offences when committed using a motor vehicle.

Kill someone and it is either manslaughter or murder nem con - let's get this "causing death by xxx driving" naieve folly dumped.

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

A V Lowe's picture

posted by A V Lowe [539 posts]
24th February 2014 - 13:12

9 Likes

sky only in private prisons...........errmmm I can assure you that sky is present in all prisons.....worked in the jails for 34 yrs.....and they (prisoners/convicts) get the lot food, bed, sky, gym, education, etc etc, .....no matter what is said prison don't work....just a holiday camp/break, matey boy will be bragging about his exploits and rubbing his hands in such a paltry sentence.....wonder what the result would have been if the judge would have lost his arm !!!!.........

hobbitt666's picture

posted by hobbitt666 [1 posts]
24th February 2014 - 14:56

2 Likes

hobbitt666 wrote:
sky only in private prisons...........errmmm I can assure you that sky is present in all prisons.....worked in the jails for 34 yrs.....and they (prisoners/convicts) get the lot food, bed, sky, gym, education, etc etc, .....no matter what is said prison don't work....just a holiday camp/break, matey boy will be bragging about his exploits and rubbing his hands in such a paltry sentence.....wonder what the result would have been if the judge would have lost his arm !!!!.........

No sky in any prisons. Chris Grayling had it removed.

posted by Cyclist [307 posts]
24th February 2014 - 19:51

0 Likes

ragtag wrote:
When are we going to start seeing people that cause damage to lives like this banned for life from driving? It is not a right to be able to get behind the wheel of a car, especially when you have proved successfully that you are irresponsible and devious to boot.

I agree, but actually stopping them driving is harder, and probably needs either technology or a sharp sword and a big block of wood.

posted by oldstrath [284 posts]
24th February 2014 - 20:01

1 Like

Only way this will ever change sadly is to target judges and MP's families in your own car. Once they realise the utter contempt for justice when it visits their own door step you'll see a quick change.

If we have a whip round on the forum we can probably fund enough fines for at least 10 more 'accidents', I'm sure we can also fund alternative transport for any subsequent ban in the following weeks, should the 'I thought I hit a squirrel' excuse fail, especially if the insurmountable claim that the clouds put you off fails as well.

Democracy unfortunately typically works when money is involved, here there is no incentive hence years of failure, complete lack of proactivity from every successive government and a judiciary who consider misuse of an oyster card to be more deviant than a repeat driving offender who doesn't give a damn about anyone.

I hate all of that, however...tell me I'm wrong?

Hating our selfish and ignorant car culture

posted by ironmancole [200 posts]
24th February 2014 - 20:02

1 Like

Lets hope that Mr Simon launches a civil action for damages. I'd say about £30m would be about the right amount. Lets see how that affects Mr Hollowell's ability to get insurance in the future.

posted by qwerky [165 posts]
26th February 2014 - 10:54

2 Likes