Beds, Herts & Bucks

Jamie Gilroy jailed for crashing van into Maulden cottage

Maulden crash Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption No-one was injured in the crash

A driver who was high on cocaine when he ploughed a van into a couple's thatched cottage has been jailed.

Jamie Gilroy, 35, came off a bend on Ampthill Road in Maulden, crossed a grass verge, and went through a hedge before embedding the Berlingo van in the front of the 16th Century cottage.

Gilroy, of Harrow Piece in the village, pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to dangerous driving.

He was jailed for 14 months and banned from driving for five years.

The crash happened at about 22:35 GMT on 10 October last year as Steven and Val Fossey, who live in the cottage, were about to go to bed.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Val and Steve Fossey had lived in the 16th Century cottage for 14 years
Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Neighbours heard the noise and held Gilroy who had tried to escape

Neighbours heard the noise and held Gilroy by tying up his legs with string until the police arrived.

At the time, Mrs Fossey, 67, who was in the living room with her husband, 66, when the van crashed into the home, said there was "a dreadful noise - like an earthquake".

Gilroy, who had previous convictions including driving while banned, escaped unhurt from the wreckage.

Image caption Jamie Gilroy pleaded guilty to dangerous driving
Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Gilroy, who had previous convictions including driving while banned, escaped unhurt from the wreckage

Prosecutor Neil King said the repairs cost £20,000 and the couple had to pay their insurers a £350 excess which Judge Barbara Mensah said Gilroy should pay on his release.

The couple had to move out, but have now returned home.

Matthew Lippard, defending, said Gilroy had shown remorse and was aware of the impact his offence had on his victims.

Jailing him, Judge Mensah said: "Your case is at the top end of the scale of dangerous driving.

"You were driving at speed on a road which required you to slow down. You were on drugs and caused a very serious accident which left the victims with cost and emotional trauma."

Image caption It cost £20,000 to repair the cottage
Image copyright Alan Plom
Image caption The van was left embedded in the front of the 16th Century home
Image copyright South Beds News Agency

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