Dangerous Diabetic Driver Jailed

Diabetic Darren Lock impaled a pedestrian on railings in Bedford after losing control of his car in a state of automatism after his blood sugar level had plummeted.

Lock, 41, from Rushden, had already struck a lamppost and was driving with his front bumper dragging along the road when he hit William Dawkins.

Mr Dawkins, 46, spent the next week in intensive care where he was treated for two broken vertebrae in his neck, a punctured lung, a burst artery in his left arm, a broken left arm and broken leg.

IT Consultant Lock from Higham Road, Rushden, was jailed for six months and banned from driving for three years, with an order that he must take and extended retest, when he appeared at Luton crown court today/Monday to admit dangerous driving.

His lawyer Mark Nicholls said the married father of two had been suffering from 'hypoglycemic automatism' when he struck Mr Dawkins at around half past ten at night on June 28 last year.

He said: "He drifted into hypoglycemia without being aware of it. He is truly sorry.  If he could swap places he would do so in an instant. He has given up his licence and expresses great remorse."

Prosecutor Kevin Barry said that Lock had seen a nurse that morning about his type one diabetes and had given her false information about his blood sugar levels. He caught the train to work in London, returning to Bedford at around 10pm.

Despite knowing his blood sugar levels were low, Lock drove his maroon VW Passatt out in Ashburnham Road where he hit a lamppost at the zebra crossing. Then he drove off and clipped the wing mirror of a Peugeot with his front bumper dragging along the road.

"As the car went into Bromham Road he caused another driver to swerve. Then he collided with Mr Dawkins, sending him into the railings on the pavement. He was detached from the railings and spent a week in intensive care," said Mr Barry.

Lock's blood sugar level was tested and found to be 1.8, which is very low. He had a zero reading for alcohol.

The prosecutor said that as a type 1 diabetic Lock should have informed the DVLA of his condition but they had no records.

Mr Nicholls said Lock had: "drifted in hypoglycemia without being aware of it." He said he had controlled his diabetes for the past 17 years and worked as an IT professional earning over £40,000 a year. Lock had handed back his licence and does not intend to apply again, said.

He had one previous conviction from May 1999 when he failed to stop after an accident on his way to his wedding.

Jailing him, Judge Richard Foster said: "You knew that morning that your blood sugar level was not as it should be. You should have checked your blood sugar levels before you drove. You knew full well the dangers of what you did. You came out of Bedford station in a state of automatism. Another driver had a narrow escape and Mr Dawkins is very lucky to be alive."

The court was told that Mr Dawkins' claim for compensation is being dealt with by Lock's insurance company.

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