Tonbridge crash sentencing
A man who flouted six different driving laws and
crashed into a lamppost in Tonbridge High Street has been
handed an extended ban.
Kevin Branagan, 21, from Whitehall Road in Aghagallon, Northern
Ireland, took a red Peugeot 306 without the owner’s permission and
proceeded to drive dangerously, without insurance or a license,
while using a mobile phone and without a seatbelt on, in the early
hours of 8 August last year.
He took the keys to the car, which belonged to his boss, the night
before and at 2am he was seen revving the engine near
Tonbridge Police Station in Pembury Road.
Officers followed him as he then drove along Pembury Road, Lavender
Hill and Priory Road at speed. He then performed an illegal
right-hand turn onto Railway Approach and drove up the High
Street and over the bridge before colliding with a lamppost near
The damage he caused to the car, tools which were inside and the
street furniture was valued at almost £22,000.
After he was arrested by police at the scene, he refused to provide
a blood sample to determine the amount of alcohol in his system.
CCTV later showed he had also been driving without his headlights
The road was closed for more than 24 hours while evidence was
gathered, the crash debris was cleared and the road repaired.
At Maidstone Crown Court, Branagan was sentenced to 12 months in
jail, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to complete 180
hours unpaid work and banned from driving for two and a half
years after which he must pass an extended retest before he
can drive again.
DS Miles Bishop from the serious collision investigation unit,
said: “Although he did not give a blood sample, Branagan admitted
in interview that he had been drinking earlier in the evening and
the judge said it was likely he was driving under the influence of
“It was miraculous that he survived, and that no innocent people
were injured or killed by his actions.”
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