Wirksworth driver fined after fleeing crash

Chesterfield magistrates court.
Chesterfield magistrates court.

A motorist who destroyed two sets of pedestrian traffic lights after he crashed into them and fled from his car has been ordered to pay out £440 in fines and costs.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Friday, April 10, how Stephen Gratton, 28, of King Edward Street, Wirksworth, lost control of his Vauxahll Astra on St John’s Street, in Wirksworth, crashed and fled from the vehicle.

Prosecuting solicitor Robert Carr said: “Police received a call from a member of the public about 10.30pm, on January 29, saying a car had crashed into pedestrian traffic lights on St John’s Street, Wirksworth. Police arrived and found two sets of pedestrian traffic lights had been destroyed. One of the lights had been knocked over near a parked vehicle.

“The Vauxhall Astra was left at the scene and police traced the driver’s address but he was not there however they did speak to him the following day at his home address.”

Gratton told police he had been driving and he had hit the pedestrian traffic lights and had panicked and had gone home and gone to sleep.

The defendant also claimed he had skidded on snow but police said it had started snowing after the accident. Gratton who represented himself in court apologised for what he had done after the accident and for wasting police and the court’s time.

He said: “I want to apologise for what I did after the accident and for wasting the police and court’s time.

“It was stupid.”

Gratton pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention while being involved in an accident which caused damage to two sets of pedestrian traffic lights.

He also pleaded guilty to failing to stop after the accident and failing to report the accident after the collision in January. Magistrates fined Gratton £323 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £32 victim surcharge. His driver’s licence was also endorsed with seven points.