Motorist avoids jail after admitting dangerous driving on West Norfolk road

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.

A van driver was forced to stop in order to avoid a head-on crash with a car that was overtaking two other vehicles, magistrates heard.

Paul Ainscough, 54, was given a suspended jail sentence when he appeared in court in Lynn yesterday, after pleading guilty to a charge of dangerous driving.

Passing sentence, presiding magistrate Stuart Hall told him: “It was more by good luck than good management, certainly on your part, that there was not a very serious accident.”

The court heard Ainscough had been driving an Audi estate car on the B1153, between Flitcham and Bircham, when the incident happened on July 30 last year.

The court was shown dashboard camera footage taken by one of the motorists who was passed by Ainscough.

Alison Cotterill, prosecuting, said, that having tried to overtake once, the driver who recorded the footage expected Ainscough to pull in front of him when he passed him.

However, he continued and overtook a second car. A van travelling in the opposite direction was forced to stop altogether to avoid a collision.

Miss Cotterell said the van driver told police he had feared for his life and that of his brother who was with him at the time.

The driver who recorded the dashboard footage said he had also feared for the safety of his family while the third motorist present said his wife, who was with him, had been left “physically shaking” following the incident.

Miss Cotterill said the case was one of aggressive driving that had caused significant risk of personal injury.

Tom Gent, mitigating, said his client was “deeply ashamed” of his behaviour.

He told the court that Ainscough, of Nunnington, North Yorkshire, had been heading to his house in Brancaster when the incident happened.

He said Ainscough could not recall seeing the van until he was passing it, but had accepted his guilt after seeing the camera footage.

The court was also told Ainscough would have to employ a driver, costing him £150 a day, in order to maintain his job as a rural chartered surveyor and that a prison sentence would be “catastrophic” for him.

Magistrates imposed a 12 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, plus a 15 month driving ban.

He will also have to pass an extended driving test before he can regain his licence.