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Ferrari driver destroys bike rack after losing control of sports car on 20mph street, police confirm no further action for collision

Ross Mendham, a former Dragons' Den contestant who earned £60,000 of investment on the show, appeared in court yesterday having been arrested for breach of bail conditions, although Norfolk Police have said he will not face action for the crash...

The driver of a Ferrari who lost control of his sports car on a 20mph speed limit city centre road in Norwich, mounting the kerb and smashing into a bike rack, will face no police action over the incident, Norfolk Constabulary has confirmed.

CCTV footage of the crash was uploaded to YouTube by Conisford Court and shows the moment the driver left the road on Rose Lane, a 20mph route as per Google Maps images, hitting and destroying the roadside bike racks which prevented him ploughing across a protected cycleway and onto the pavement at just before 5pm on Sunday 17 March.

The sports car, believed to be an F430 Spider worth £140,000, was seen in the middle of the road, airbags activated and smoke rising from the vehicle, a witness saying that it looked like a write off. A runner had been passing the bike lanes at the moment the driver smashed into them, two pedestrians using the pavement further along Rose Lane where the vehicle eventually stopped.

Ross Mendham was identified as the driver by the local press, the Norwich Evening News reporting that the son of former Norwich City footballer Peter Mendham was seen "clambering out of the wreckage of his car with another man".

Norfolk Police confirmed that nobody had been injured in the crash or arrested for their role in it. A spokesperson said: "Police were called to Rose Lane, Norwich at 4.58pm yesterday (Sunday, March 17) following reports of a single vehicle collision. The road was closed whilst emergency services, including fire, attended the scene. No one was injured and the road reopened at 6.25pm."

Ferrari driver destroys bike rack (YouTube/Conisford Court)
Ferrari driver destroys bike rack (YouTube/Conisford Court)

Mendham appeared in court on Monday, not for a driving offence, but instead after being arrested for breaching his bail conditions in relation to a forthcoming case at Norwich Crown Court in June having been accused of knocking his seven-month pregnant girlfriend unconscious with a punch to the face, something he denies.

The Ferrari driver admitted the bail conditions breach at Norwich Magistrates' Court on Monday for not keeping a GPS tag charged, the prosecutor, Josephine Jones, explaining that he was meant to be adhering to a 7pm-7am curfew at his home and should have been electronically monitored.

The defence representation said the breach was of a technical nature due to short battery life possibly caused by faulty equipment, Mendham having the same bail conditions re-imposed. In 2013, he earned investment from Dragons' Den businessman Peter Jones, who put £60,000 into his low-calorie noodle and pasta venture.

Much of the reaction to the reporting of the incident has centred on the way the crash was framed by news outlets such as the BBC and Metro, the former reporting that "Ferrari crashes into bike racks in Norwich city centre" while the latter went for "Ferrari worth £140,000 completely misses empty road and hit bike stands instead".

The guidelines for reporting road traffic collisions, while not compulsory, suggest that news organisations should avoid using the word "accident" and always acknowledge human involvement in a collision, therefore avoiding common headlines such as "car crashes into tree".

The BBC has faced criticism over its online reporting of the Norwich crash as well as an apparently light-hearted segment showing the footage on a breakfast TV programme this morning.

One person tagged the BBC in a social media post saying the incident "may have resulted in serious injury, not amused or interested", another stating it would be more "factual" to acknowledge the Ferrari was being driven at the time of the incident.

Replies to the local press follow similar lines, Mark Hook writing: "Zero mention of any driver. You should be backing immediate product recall on defective Ferraris that just crash all on their own, as per your report". Another reply enquired whether the Ferrari was "one of those self-driving cars?"

Norfolk Constabulary has said that nobody would face police action for their driving in relation to the incident.

Dan is the news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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