Company director who crashed his £100,000 Ferrari at 100mph while drunk and high on cocaine is jailed

Darren Turner was jailed for a year after he crashed his Ferrari while twice the drink drive limit and on cocaine

A company director has been jailed after he smashed up his £100,000 super-powered Ferrari in a 100mph horror crash while drunk and high on cocaine. Darren Turner, 46, was nearly twice the drink-drive limit when he lost control of his Ferrari California, on July 23 last year.

He shot straight across a roundabout and ploughed into a lamppost before the luxury motor ended up on the wrong side of the A435 dual carriageway.

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A court heard he had been travelling at more than 100mph in the flash red sports car, which has a top speed of 195mph, after visiting a pub.

‘The victim is the public’s safety’

Photographs released by police at the time showed the mangled wreckage of the Ferrari with its rear end badly damaged and wheels buckled.

Turner was taken to hospital after the crash in in Oversley Mill, Warwickshire, and later breathalysed which also revealed a reading for benzoylecgonine, an indicator of cocaine, more than nine times the legal limit.

He went on to plead guilty to dangerous driving and driving with over the legal limits of alcohol and cocaine in his blood.

Turner, of Kings Norton, Birmingham, was jailed for a year and banned from driving for four-and-a-half years at Warwick Crown Court.

Sentencing, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC said: “People think that offences like this don’t have victims, but they do. The victim is the public’s safety.

“The potential for harm to other road-users was enormous, you could have caused a fatal road traffic accident.

“It was aggressive driving across a reasonably long period, but one of the major aggravating features is your antecedents.

“Is there a reasonable chance of rehabilitation? Your past record gives me no confidence of that.

“Plainly this offending is so serious that only a significant custodial sentence can be justified.”

The court heard Turner, boss of Turner’s Pallets and Recycling based in Birmingham, narrowly missed an oncoming car during the crash.

Darren Turner

Turner lost control of car and hit central barrier

Prosecutor Ryan Hodgkins told how he lost control and hit the central barrier, causing the front of the car to be lifted of the ground.

The other driver had to take evasive action as it bounced back onto the carriageway near the Oversley Mill roundabout.

Mr Hodgkins said: “He reached the roundabout, and went straight across the middle of it and hit a lamppost and spun out of control.”

Turner was injured in the collision and was given first aid at the scene before being taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester.

The court heard Turner’s previous convictions included two for driving with excess alcohol, one for failing to provide a specimen and one for dangerous driving.

Patrick Kelly, defending, told how Turner had even purchased the £100,000 super car while he was drunk following the breakdown of his marriage.

He said that for 20 years Turner had struggled with alcohol and six years ago he took over the Turner’s Pallets business following the death of his father.

The Ferrari which Darren Turner crashed while drunk and on cocaine.

‘This was a night of stupidity’

Mr Kelly told the court: “He did not receive any counselling for that, and alcohol was not doing it for him, and he turned to drugs.

“His wife had put up with the drink, but the drugs destroyed the marriage.

“The buying of the car itself was an act of stupidity.

“He bought it while in drink, and was paying £1,600 a month – and because he was drunk, his insurance did not pay out.

“He does not have a great memory of that night. He took alcohol and cocaine, and then got behind the wheel.

“He should not have taken the car to the pub, and he’s fully aware of that.

“Since the accident he went on a spiral of depression. He got through that, and has remained dry and clean. He has learned his lesson.”

He added that the company has 15 employees, and because Turner was responsible for getting new business, it would suffer and jobs would be at risk if he was jailed.

Mr Kelly said: “This was a night of stupidity.

“He apologises unreservedly for what he’s done. He should have known better.”

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