Chesterfield man jailed with brothers for drunken “race” and HGV smash

A Chesterfield trio of drunken pals who “raced” each other in “high powered” cars after a six-hour pub binge at speeds of up to 88mph before one crashed into a HGV at Whittington Moor roundabout have all been jailed.

Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 5:36 pm

Declan Webster, 33, was jailed for 16 months and brothers Robert and Michael Bower were locked up for 14 months and 12 months respectively.

Judge Robert Egbuna told them: “I cannot think of a worse piece of dangerous driving. It is sheer luck that no-one died.”

As the three were sentenced today at Derby Crown Court CCTV footage showed the “state of inebriation” they were in at Brimington’s Red Lion Pub minutes before the crash.

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Declan Webster was jailed for 16 months

It showed Webster’s Toyota Corolla and Robert Bower’s white Range Rover collide as the pair tried to reverse in the pub carpark.

As the trio raced in convoy along along Brimington Road North – which has a 30mph limit - on August 8, 2020, at around 9.30pm, Webster’s speed was clocked at an average of 81mph.

While for brothers Robert, 33, and Michael, 28, it was recorded at 71mph.

When Webster piled his Corolla into the lorry at the roundabout he had his partner and three-year-old son in car with him – who were both “miraculously” unhurt.

They raced at speeds of up to 88mph before the crash into a HGV at Whittington Moor roundabout

Michael Bower was captured careering his Jaguar XE onto the opposite carriageway at the moment of impact to avoid the collision.

Robert Bower’s Range Rover was seen rolling towards the roundabout when he climbed out to help pal Webster – having forgotten to apply his handbrake.

As Webster climbs out of his car with his son and partner he is shown leaving the scene in one of the Bower brothers’ cars.

The court heard Webster’s son was seen “bleeding from his nose and mouth” by one of the Bower brothers moments after the crash.

The unhurt HGV driver can be seen on the camera “in dismay” to find all three gone – however police eventually tracked them down after viewing CCTV from the Red Lion.

Prosecutor Katrina Wilson told the court the trio had been at the Red Lion for six hours before the crash – with Webster drinking seven pints, Robert Bower, six, and Michael at least four-and-a-half.

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Judge Robert Egbuna, said: “I cannot think of a worse piece of dangerous driving. It is sheer luck that no-one died.

"It really is captured when you in your interview said you thought a death would arise out of the driving.

"That reflects Mr Webster’s account – he feels fortunate to have his family and son alive.

"On that day at the Red Lion pub CCTV shows that a significant amount of alcohol was consumed – you left that pub and all three of you were racing.

"You were in powerful vehicles – Michael Bower you overtook your brother on a single carriageway.”

Judge Egbuna said Webster’s Corolla came “from nowhere” and “disintegrated virtually” as it smashed into the side of the lorry.

He said: “In that vehicle was your three-year-old child with his mother – how they managed to survive is a miracle. Road users were lucky to survive

“What you do afterwards with assistance of the Bowers is to leave the scene – the purpose of leaving the scene it is quite clear is you do not want to be apprehended because your level of alcohol would be available to the court.”

Webster, already in remand on another matter at HMP Leicester and appearing via video link with no legal representation, told the judge: “That was a very shocking an eye-opening night for me two years ago.

"I’m very grateful that my family came out alive – I’ve lost my partner but I’ve still got access to my son.

"I’m just grateful that I didn’t kill my family or anyone else – it was foolish, reckless and dangerous.”

Webster, of Spital Lane, Chesterfield, admitted dangerous driving and was jailed for 16 months with an eight-month extension period. He was banned from driving for three years.

Michael Bower, of Hindley Road, Chesterfield, admitted dangerous driving and was jailed for 12 months with a six-month extension period. He was banned from driving for six months.

Robert Bower, of Cornerpin Close, Chesterfield, admitted dangerous driving and was jailed for 14 months with a seven-month extension period. He was banned from driving for six months.

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