South East Wales

Robbie Morgan's driving ban for demolishing Nelson home

House in Caerphilly damaged by car
Image caption The terraced house in Nelson, near Caerphilly, was in ruins after the crash

A teenager who demolished a house with his father's Jeep on his way to get a takeaway after a party has been banned from driving for a year.

Robbie Morgan, 18, had been driving for six months before the crash in December 2011, Newport Crown Court heard.

He also hit a car and a woman, who was seriously hurt, before ploughing into the house in Nelson, near Caerphilly.

He was cleared of dangerous driving, but convicted of the lesser offence of driving without due care and attention.

During his trial a jury heard how the A-level student, from Treharris near Merthyr Tydfil, "put his foot down" in the £30,000 Jeep Cherokee, hitting speeds of 60mph (97km/h) after leaving a sixth form party at a local rugby club.

Image caption Robbie Morgan walked with a limp as he entered the dock

Morgan had denied dangerous driving as well as careless driving, insisting he had been driving at the speed limit.

The prosecution argued the teenager had been driving a car that was "too powerful" on a night during poor weather conditions.

He had been at a sixth form party before leaving with two school friends to pick up some food and cigarettes from a garage.

The smash occurred after the defendant had tried to avoid a car that was turning in the road.

Jonathan Howells, prosecuting, had said that vehicle, a Renault Megane, had been driven safely.

As well as hitting the turning car, he hit Geraldine Downy before ploughing into the terraced house, knocking down the two-storey extension and causing damage running "into five figures".

Miss Downy, 18, a pedestrian, was later treated at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff for life-threatening injuries from which she is still recovering.

The jury had also been told that householder Lucie Flowers had avoided being hit because she was upstairs watching television.

Morgan, who entered the dock with a limp, said the accident was unavoidable after the other vehicle forced him to swerve.

As well as disqualifying Morgan from driving for 12 months, Recorder Jonathan Ferris also fined him £600.

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