Jailed: Drug driver who left woman with life-changing injury after crash

Southend Magistrates' Court. Picture: Google Maps

Southend Magistrates' Court. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Google Maps

A drug driver who caused a crash that left a woman with a life-changing head injury has been jailed.

Southend Magistrates' Court heard how Anthony Purcell was driving a black Ford C-Max on the London-bound side of the A127 in Southend when he veered across the road, over the central reservation and hit a white Mini Cooper coming the other way.

The crash, which took place at around 4.40am on November 11 last year, caused significant damage to the Mini and left the driver with a life-changing head injury.

Purcell, of Mountfield Road, East Ham, told officers at the scene that he was driving the Ford and that he was not insured.

A blood test later found that he had cocaine and Benzoylecgonine - a major metabolite of cocaine - in his system.

He was arrested and on Wednesday, August 7, appeared at court where he admitted careless driving, two counts of drug driving, and driving with no insurance.

The 37-year-old was jailed for 16 weeks with a further 12 months on licence and disqualified for driving for three years.

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PC Tina Quinlivan said: "Anthony Purcell's actions have caused injuries that his victim may never fully recover from.

"He made a choice to get behind the wheel after taking cocaine. That decision will affect the driver of the Mini for the rest of her life.

"He has at least admitted his crimes which will prevent his victim from re-living the ordeal through a trial."

She added: "I hope this case acts as a wake-up call for anyone considering getting behind the wheel after taking drugs.

"Your actions could see you banned from the road and locked up in prison. Even worse, you could change someone's life forever."