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Home   Kent   News   Article

Man covered up drunken son's car crash in Richborough

19 March 2012
by Danny Boyle

A steel company executive who tried to cover up his drunken son's car crash by posing as the driver has been sent to prison today.

And Martin Ord's son, who was at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta that overturned leaving a friend paralysed for life, was also jailed.

The father-of-two lied to police for six days to hide the fact the driver had been his son David, 23 who had been almost three times the drink-drive limit.

The court heard the 50-year-old only decided to tell the police the truth after talking to a priest.

Judge Adele Williams jailed 50-year-old Martin Ord for six months and his son for a total of 20 months at Canterbury Crown Court.

She told Martin Ord: "You must have realised that he had been unfit to drive through alcohol.

"You allowed him to leave the scene and you told police that you were the driver and you didn't tell them the truth for six days.

"This was a grossly misguided sense of loyalty. You put your son's interest above everybody else's interest."

Judge Williams, pictured below, told David Ord: "Ben Barnes suffered devastating injuries - his back broken in two places, broken ribs and a collapsed lung. He will have to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

"Your catastrophic irresponsibility has curtailed the fully active life of another human being and all the consequences that has for him, both physical and psychological."

Judge Adele WilliamsThe court heard forensic experts discovered his DNA when examining the airbag of the wrecked Ford Fiesta, which had crashed on the A256 at Richborough.

But by then the police had been given the wrong surname of Ben - resulting in an unrelated family being told their son had been injured in the crash.

The Ords, of Sandwich Road, Cliffsend, Ramsgate, sat next to each other in the dock as family members gasped at the sentences.

James Bilsland, prosecuting, told how David was with two friends driving south along the road in the early hours of the morning when he lost control, overturning the car.

The welder escaped with minor injuries - but one passenger was thrown out of the window and a second received suffered horrific injuries.

Benjamin Barnes was rushed to the QEQM hospital and later transferred to Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire with serious spinal injuries.

Mr Bilsland said doctors diagnosed Benjamin, who is in his early 20s, as being paralysed "for the rest of his life".

The court heard David telephoned his father from the scene of the 3.40 am accident in May last year.

Mr Bilsland said: "David was the driver, a passenger called Daniel Stringer was thrown out of the front window and Mr Barnes, who was in the rear seat, was also injured in the crash."

He said the car had been travelling at between 49 to 62mph at the time of the accident.

"David then telephoned his father after the collision who then drove from his home and reached the scene before the emergency services.

"It became very clear that Ben was quite severely injured and he attended to him," he added.

Meanwhile, David jumped into his father's car - and fled the scene, the court was told.

"your catastrophic irresponsibility has curtailed the fully active life of another human being and all the consequences that has for him, both physical and psychological…” – judge adele williams

When police arrived, Martin Ord claimed he had been at the wheel of the car and carried on that lie at the hospital, Mr Bilsland said.

Ben received chest injuries, a collapsed lung and a dislocation of the ninth and tenth vertebrae and was transferred to the specialist hospital.

Mr Bilsland said Martin Ord was released at the scene and went home and "very quickly" went to the QEQM Hospital enquiring after Mr Barnes.

"When he was there he spoke to the police who by then suspected the son had been driving but he continued his assertions that he was the driver."

Later the same day, David Ord was breathalised and its reading was within the legal drink-drive limit.

But Mr Bilsland said a back calculation revealed he was between two-and-a half to three times over the limit.

It was only on May 27 that Martin Ord eventually admitted in interview he had lied to police.

Philip Rowley, defending David Ord, who admitted driving while unfit through drink and leaving the scene of an accident, said: "He is wholly remorseful and deeply sorry for what happened. This will remain with him for the rest of his life."

Nicholas Jinks, defending Martin Ord, who admitted perverting the course of justice, said he had now lost the possibility of becoming a director of the Canterbury-based Parkersteel, where he has worked for six years.

David Ord was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to re-sit an extended test.

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