DRINK DRIVER SPARED JAIL: Taxi driver slams decision after being left in agony

Greenhalgh avoided jail after leaving a trail of destruction in Marton
Greenhalgh avoided jail after leaving a trail of destruction in Marton
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A taxi driver who feared for his life after being caught up in a horror smash has slammed the sentence given to the drunk who caused it.

James Greenhalgh took his sister’s car without permission before losing control as he tried to take a bend in Hawes Side Lane, Marton, causing a four-car collision and thousands of pounds of damage.

The 35-year-old, of Westgate Road in St Annes, pleaded guilty to aggravated taking of a car without consent and driving it with excess alcohol without insurance.

He was sentenced to a 12- month community order with up to 20 days’ rehabilitation to be supervised by the probation service, put on a six-week curfew from 9pm to 6am, disqualified from driving for 14 months and ordered to pay a £150 court charge with £60 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

But the cabbie, 51, who has asked to remain nameless, told The Gazette: “He should have gone to jail. He has never apologised. He left me for dead and in agony.

“I should have been killed.

“But I’m glad he’s OK because he took a shunt like I did.”

Greenhalgh hit the Whiteside’s taxi almost head on at around 10.30pm onSunday, November 1, pushing it into a nurse’s Ford EcoSport, which was parked outside his house. He then hit a parked Citroen Saxo, which span round and hit a Ford Focus, before smashing into a garden wall.

Greenhalgh was found inside the car, which was wedged, still revving the engine, the court heard.

The machine operator tried to flee but was arrested by police following a small chase, prosecutor Adrian Hollamby said.

A breath test showed 57mg of alcohol in his body – 35 is the legal limit.

His 21-year-old female passenger, who the court heard had only seen Greenhalgh down one pint, was left lying in the road with leg and whiplash injuries.

Stephen Duffy, defending, said Greenhalgh had no previous convictions and had been signed off work with depression after his relationship broke down.

He said: “He drove far too quickly for the weather conditions and he was unable to take a sharp left-hand bend.”

Both the Ford Mondeo taxi and the Zafira were written off at a cost of £7,500.

The taxi driver, who climbed over his back seats to escape his car, which he feared was about to explode due to a fuel leak, added: “I was an inch away from being killed. It was close.

“I see life differently now. I don’t feel any anger towards Greenhalgh. Three weeks ago I wanted to murder him.”

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