North West Wales

Wrong way drink driver David Shaw jailed for A55 crash

Car after crash Image copyright @martradar/Twitter
Image caption This image was posted on social media by a passer-by

A drink-driver who caused a crash and hold-ups while driving for three miles on the wrong side of the A55 in Conwy county has been jailed for 30 months.

David Shaw, 43, from Abergele, was alleged to have driven at 70mph before the crash at Llanddulas on Good Friday, injuring a family of three.

Shaw, who admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, defended himself at Caernarfon Crown Court.

Judge Niclas Parry said told him: "Your conduct beggars belief."

'Full-on temper'

North Wales Police began receiving 999 calls as he drove west on the eastbound carriageway between Abergele and Llanddulas at 13:00 BST, the hearing was told.

"Several callers reported they had near-misses," said Ember Wong, prosecuting.

"Police also received a call from the defendant's son due to his concerns that his father had driven away and may get someone killed because he was drunk.

Image copyright @martradar/Twitter
Image caption David Shaw's actions caused big hold-ups on the dual carriageway on 30 March

"His father and stepmother had recently split and his father was suffering from depression.

"That morning there had been an altercation at the family home and he had drunk half a bottle of whisky and driven away in a full-on temper."

A 999 call was then received reporting the crash in the overtaking lane involving Shaw's blue Hyundai people carrier and a black Seat.

Extensive damage had been caused to both vehicles.

'Selfish actions'

Shaw's blood-alcohol count was 134 compared with the legal limit of 80, said the prosecutor.

Shaw told police: "I know I have made a mistake. I don't know how I ended up on the wrong side of the road."

The Seat was driven by Peter Maguire, 67, who was returning to London from a trip to Ireland with his wife Anna, 62, and daughter Fiona, 21.

Mrs Maguire suffered a broken wrist while her husband and daughter received minor injuries.

They could "easily have been killed by the selfish actions of the other driver," said the lawyer.

Shaw declined legal representation but told the judge he had apologised to the family in a letter.

He will receive a two-year ban after his release from jail and must take an extended driving test.

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