A motorcyclist has been jailed after admitting to using cannabis before causing a collision which left a female cyclist needing her leg amputated.
Samuel James was jailed for three and a half years at Basildon Crown Court on Friday, the Basildon Echo reports, the court hearing that the motorcyclist had "never passed a driving test, had no insurance and was travelling with fake plates".
The 29-year-old was drug tested seven and a half hours after the horrific collision three years ago on St Nicholas Lane, Basildon, and was found to have 3.5 micrograms of THC in his system, the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis.
Prosecuting, Connall Bailie said "this level of THC during a collision is likely to significantly impair one's performance riding a motorcycle" and told the court that a witness had overheard James admitting the crash was his fault.
Less than a month after the crash the cyclist, who had been "in the road for two seconds when she was struck", had her right leg amputated below the knee. The collision had left her unconscious before she was rushed to a nearby hospital with lung punctures, fractures to her arms and legs, fractured ribs, and muscle-deep lacerations.
James was also taken to the same hospital in Basildon, where he was arrested by the police. Despite initially pleading not guilty and being interviewed twice following his arrest, at the first saying he could not recall the incident, the motorcyclist later admitted responsibility and changed his plea on 25 October 2020.
Prosecuting, Mr Bailie told the court: "Following the incident, a witness overheard Mr James stating words to the effect of: 'It was their fault'. The victim was in the road for two seconds when she was struck by the defendant's Suzuki motorcycle causing both parties to be lifted in the air.
"When Mr James got up he appeared to be more annoyed by the damage done to his motorcycle and indicated he thought the defendant was dead.
"This level of THC during a collision is likely to significantly impair one's performance riding a motorcycle. Mr James had also never passed a driving test, had no insurance and was travelling with fake plates, also failing to report the incident."
Speaking on behalf of James, Rhys Rosser said his client had "expressed his apology for what has happened" but accepted "nothing he can do or say can remedy the harm".
James was sentenced to 42 months in prison (three years and six months), and has been banned from driving for five years and nine months.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.