A JOINER drove his silver Porsche Boxster for more than half a mile into Bridlington on three wheels - after almost ripping one off in a roundabout crash.
David Cockerill, 46, ploughed straight across the main A614 roundabout approach to Bridlington crunching two kerb stones and gouging the road. He did not stop as he struggled to control the convertible and keep it in a straight line. It sprayed brake fluid across the road.
Witnesses described hearing an almighty grinding noise “like a dozen wheelie bins being dragged up the road” as his front wheel began falling off. The police claimed he was a danger to others. He was seen to plough down the A614 at dusk for seven-tenths of a mile towards Bridlington before pulling off the road.
Mr Cockerill, of St Cuthbert Road, Bridlington, pleaded not guilty to a charge of dangerous driving in a scheduled trial at Hull Crown Court on Monday September 24. However, on Tuesday he dramatically changed his plea to guilty after a judge told him he had no defence and “a mountain to climb” if he insisted he had special reasons.
Mr Cockerill claimed he could not brake, as it was a rear engine car and the back of the Porsche may swing out into the face of on-coming traffic. However, Judge Simon Jack said he had continued with his foot on the accelerator on a flat road for seven-tenths of a mile and could easily have taken it off.
“The best possible evidence you can hear in a case is the defendant pleading guilty,” said Judge Jack. “He is clearly guilty. He has admitted it.”
He said his claims of panic would go to mitigation, but were not a defence to a charge. The jury found him guilty of driving which fell well below that of a careful and competent driver.
Witnesses were waiting in the wings to give evidence about the driving on September 3, 2011.
Mr Cockerill’s front near-side wheel was at right angles when he came to rest at a side turning. He could not drive further as it had fallen off. He left the scene without reporting the accident and went to Bridlington Police Station the next day but was not breathalysed.
Crown barrister Philip Evans said: “The defendant’s Porsche had “breathalyse me” written all over it. There is no evidence he was drinking or under the influence of drugs, however it would have been the Crown’s submission the defendant was trying to disassociate the vehicle from accident at the roundabout.”
Defence barrister Steven Robinson said: “He wants to establish he was not leaving the scene because he was drinking. He said he thought he had a flat tyre at first and carried on until he could pull in to the left. It was a foolish decision, not a sinister one. His partner will say he was not drinking.”
He said she went to pick him up near the scene driving him home before they rowed and she let him out of the car. Mr Robinson said Mr Cockerill’s girlfriend went back with a mechanic to look at the car.
Judge Simon Jack said he wanted a pre-sentence report on Mr Cockerill before sentencing after hearing he had convictions for speeding doing 103mph in a 70mph limit in 2008 and driving without insurance in 2010. Mr Cockerill was allowed to walk free from court but, faces a driving ban.