Reigate Hit And Run Killer 'Freaked'
1 October 2016, 09:33
A driver, who killed on off-duty soldier, said he didn't stop because he had 'freaked out'.
The victim, Ben Regan, 20, serving with the Coldstream Guards, was in the town visiting his father.
The driver, Jake Polmeer, 27, from Redhill, is awaiting sentence.
Winchester Crown Court heard that Mr Regan had just left Joules wine bar in Bell Street, Reigate, in June 2015, and had stepped into the road when he was struck by the speeding Mini Cooper car being driven by Polmeer.
The trial heard that London-based Mr Regan had come home to Reigate to visit his father on Father's Day and had gone out for the evening with friends.
Robert Pawson, prosecuting, described how the impact knocked Mr Regan "out of his shoes''.
He said that experts had estimated the car was being driven at least 36mph in the 30mph zone at the time of the accident which happened at about 2am as the bar was emptying.
Mr Pawson said after the crash, Polmeer, with his girlfriend Danielle Frost in the passenger seat, did not stop and drove to his home in Bushfield Drive, Redhill.
He said: "Ben Regan was knocked out of his shoes. What did he do after he sent Mr Regan skidding across the Tarmac? He didn't stop, he didn't brake, he didn't even apply the brakes.
"He knew he was at fault and needed to get away.
"Ben Regan had walked several paces in the road to the point where he was standing on the broken white lines in the middle of the road. Not one of the witnesses heard screeching brakes or a horn.''
He added: "We do not know what was going on inside the Mini Cooper, but something was going on in Mr Polmeer's mind such as he wasn't looking because had he been looking, he would have had time to brake and take proper avoiding action.''
Mr Pawson said that the car swerved following the impact and collided with the kerb before driving on.
Mr Pawson said the car, with a smashed windscreen and dented roof, was found the following day at the defendant's home after a neighbour informed police.
Polmeer later handed himself in.
The defendant, who had denied the charge, told police he had drunk one or two pints of Amstel lager and explaining why he drove away, he said: "I hit him, I freaked out, I did something stupid and drove off.''
A Just Giving page set up in Ben's memory (https://www.justgiving.com/teams/BenReganDonations) has so far raised £4,100. The money will be split between the Coldstream Guards and Dorking Rugby Club.
On the Just Giving page Ben's family said: "Both of these charities were close to Ben's heart and have also both supported us throughout this difficult time.
"We are so very greatful to both of them. We would like to do something positive during our time of sadness and would therefore be very greatful for any donations made to help us raise money for these 2 organisations."