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Drink driver jailed following serious injury collision in North Dorset

13 January 2021
A drink driver who caused a serious injury collision in North Dorset has been jailed.

Robert Shapland-Hill, aged 52 and of Hillside Drive in Okehampton, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday 8 January 2021 after admitting offences of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and drink driving.

He was sentenced to two years in prison and disqualified from driving for two years, with the ban due to begin when Shapland-Hill is released from prison.

At around 11.10pm on Tuesday 3 March 2020 Dorset Police received a report of a three vehicle collision on the A37, near to the turning to Stockwood.

The collision involved the defendant’s Mercedes Sprinter van, which was travelling north toward Yeovil, as well as a Volkswagen Transporter van and a Ford Focus, which were travelling in the opposite direction.

The driver of the Volkswagen Transporter was around 200 metres from the junction when he saw Shapland-Hill’s vehicle heading toward him on the wrong side of the road. He was unable to avoid a collision and his vehicle was sent spinning into the grass verge.

The defendant’s van continued on the wrong side of the road and also collided with the Ford Focus before coming to a stop. 

The driver of the Ford, a man aged in his 40s, was trapped in his vehicle as a result of the collision and had to be extracted with the help of air ambulance doctors and paramedics.

He had to spend 17 days in hospital and underwent several operations for injuries including a fractured right fibula and fracture of the spine. 

Shapland-Hill, who sustained a broken wrist as a result of the collision, told paramedics at the scene that he had consumed alcohol. A blood sample was taken at hospital and found to contain 204 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

Police Constable Simon Hatch, of the traffic unit, said: “Robert Shapland-Hill’s reckless and dangerous decision to get behind the wheel when he was over the drink drive limit resulted in a serious collision, leaving a man with severe injuries that required extensive hospital treatment.

“This case is yet another demonstration of the dangers of getting behind the wheel when under the influence of drink or drugs. We are committed to doing all we can to identifying those who commit such offences and taking action against them.”
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