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A man who caused serious injuries to two women after crashing his car into a wall has been jailed.

Luke Daniel Rothwell, 25, from Reddish, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by driving dangerously.

Minshull Street Crown Court heard how Rothwell had been driving five friends in a leased black BMW for a night out in Manchester and at a casino in Didsbury on February 27, 2020.

At around 4.30am on February 28, a police officer spotted the vehicle ‘driving in the wrong direction’ and at a ‘high speed’ on Didsbury Road in Stockport.

Following a request from police to pull over, Rothwell slowed down before then speeding off from officers.

Rothwell’s vehicle was then seen overtaking a taxi on Priestnall Road and driving through a red light.

A witness at the scene said they thought he had been driving ‘at around 70-80 miles per hour’ and was ‘absolutely tanking it’.

When the traffic lights turned to green, the taxi caught up to the BMW which had since crashed into a wall on Hawthorn Road.

Four people, including a woman who had ‘blood all over her face’, were seen getting out of the vehicle in an attempt to flee the scene.

A man later identified to be Rothwell was seen leaving the driver’s side of the vehicle.

When one of the people fleeing the scene noticed one of the female passengers was injured on the floor, Rothwell was heard shouting ‘b******s to her, we’ve got to go – call for an ambulance’.

When police arrived at the scene, a bottle of vodka and numerous nitrous oxide canisters were found inside the vehicle.

A document stating that the car had been leased to Rothwell was also discovered in the boot of the vehicle.

Niamh Gara, 20, was one of the people that had initially fled the vehicle and said Rothwell had been ‘driving like an idiot’.

She was taken to hospital and suffered a fractured elbow. She was later discharged.

Molly Ferncombe, also 20, suffered a number of serious injuries from the crash including a spinal fracture to the back which required a month in hospital.

The court heard that Ms Ferncombe has suffered a permanent ‘obvious facial scar’ and ‘ongoing mobility difficulties’ as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash.

She continues to suffer from anxiety and PTSD from the crash and still requires regular physiotherapy for her injuries.

The day after the crash, Rothwell attended Cheadle Hulme police station where he admitted to taking cocaine and alcohol on the night.

He told police that he had gone into town and then a casino before ‘chilling with some girls and enjoying music in his car’.

He said he had ‘no recollection’ of crashing but did recall having a panic attack and then waking up at his girlfriend’s house.

Rothwell said he did not know why he had failed to stop for police or how the crash had happened.

Defence barrister Neil Ronan told the court how Rothwell had been remorseful of his actions and had tried to ‘move on’ from the offense.

“It is regrettable that on that night that he had such poor thinking skills,” Mr Ronan said.

He added: “He is in a strong and stable relationship and planning a future and he has stable work.

“He has been caring for his 13-year-old sister while his mum works at a residential children’s home.

“This stupid criminal behaviour will impact not only on his sister who is used to his help but also his mother who has no alternative care.”

Judge Landale said that Rothwell had displayed poor decision making, noting: “On 28th February last year, having consumed cocaine earlier in the day and alcohol, you drove your friends late at night.

“You were not over the limit for either alcohol or drugs but you were enjoying driving a high powered BMW which was unfamiliar to you.

“The car was crowded. You knew at least one passenger was unrestrained and sat on the knee in the back.”

Judge Landale said that while she agreed that Rothwell had shown remorse, she had to acknowledge a ‘poor record’ of criminal offences and that he had tried to flee the scene.

“Your only concern, despite the injuries to your friends, was yourself,” Judge Landale said.

“You wanted to escape and get away.

“You have a poor record of criminal offences and your previous convictions include a previous episode of bad driving when you drove carelessly at speed to avoid the police.

“This was prolonged, persistent and deliberate driving where you ignored warnings to stop.

“It was very bad driving at excessive speed. More than one person was injured and you left the scene.

“I accept that you have taken steps to improve your life. You have gained employment and you are very helpful to your family and you are remorseful.”

However, the judge said the only ‘appropriate punishment’ was for an immediate prison sentence.

Rothwell was sentenced to 27 months in prison. He was also disqualified from driving for three years with a 14 month extension.

This content was originally published here.