Banned Chesterfield driver crashed partner’s car into Mercedes

The brother of Chesterfield soldier Chris Henchliffe - killed by a fatal punch in Chesterfield town centre - ploughed into a Mercedes after taking his girlfriend’s car without permission.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 2:29 pm

James Henchliffe, 29, was on his way to a local shop at the time - having driven off in his partner’s BMW, Chesterfield Magistrates Court heard.

Prosecutor Sarah Haslam told the court on June 13 Henchliffe’s girlfriend ran down the road after him when she realised the car had been taken.

After seeing it had smashed into a Mercedes - whose driver was reversing off their driveway at the time - she ran home and called police.

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Chesterfield Magistrates Court

Ms Haslam said the “shocked” Mercedes driver - whose car was wrecked - described Henchliffe as “very angry” after hitting the car at about 30mph.

However he then ran off before insurance details could be exchanged.

Magistrates heard the defendant phoned his partner three days later - explaining that he had “panicked” after the crash and fled.

Henchliffe was still serving a 22-month ban at the time of the incident - having convictions for failing to stop, drink and drug driving and driving uninsured.

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Benjamin Edwards GUILTY of manslaughter of Chris Henchliffe

His brother, Chris Henchliffe, was killed in July 2016 after being punched by Benjamin Edwards during a town centre row over a split drink.

Edwards, convicted of manslaughter, was jailed for five-a-half years.

James Henchliffe’s solicitor Katie Hempstock said her client had served in the Armed Forces - doing tours of Afghanistan however the death of his brother had made his life “very difficult”.

She said: “That set him on a course of offending.”

The solicitor added: “It was a silly incident - he had been with the owner of the vehicle he had taken.

“They’re in a relationship and he thought he had permission to take the car, but he didn’t.

“He took the car to go to the shop - a silly thing to do when you know you’re disqualified – he handed himself in to police and made full admissions.”

Henchliffe, of Maynard Road, Boythorpe, admitted aggravated vehicle taking and driving uninsured.

He was jailed for eight weeks suspended for 12 months, banned from driving for 12 months, made to pay £350 compensation, £85 court costs and a £128 victim surcharge.

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