Jockey jailed after crashing stolen car into woman he was to meet for first date

Trevor Woodside was found to be twice the legal alcohol limit


A Co Down jockey has been jailed for 21 months after he drove a stolen car at up to 140kph (87mph) head-on into a vehicle being driven by a woman he was due to meet on a first date.

Trevor Woodside (33) was told by a judge at Downpatrick Crown Court, sitting in Newtownards, that it was an “appalling piece of driving’’, which had left his victim with “significant long term injuries’’, both physically and psychologically.

Woodside, of Castleview, Killyleagh, had pleaded guilty to a total of four charges at Downpatrick Court of causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, driving with excess alcohol and having no insurance.

Sam Magee, prosecuting, told the court that the accident happened on March 30th, 2014, when Woodside was due to meet the woman for “their first date’’.

He said the defendant had taken a Mercedes car belonging to his employer without his permission and had been drinking earlier in the day.

The court heard the woman was travelling from Newry to Crossgar for their first date and while enroute she received a number calls and text messages from Woodside asking about her location.

She asked him had he been drinking and he replied: “No.”

Judge Piers Grant was told that the woman believed he was drinking and told him to “catch himself on’’ as she was aware he had no licence to drive a car.

Mr Magee said the woman was driving along the Ballydougan Road outside Downpatrick in her Volkswagen Golf car travelling at a speed of 45mph in a 60mph zone.

“As she approached the junction with the Drumcullen Road near Downpatrick race course, suddenly a black Mercedes car came at her at speed after having crossed on to her side of the road. One witness described that the black Mercedes had passed their vehicle ‘like a rocket’. The woman swerved in an attempt to avoid a collison, but to no avail.’’

Following the head-on collision, the court heard, the Volkswagen Golf spun around on the road before careering down a bank and into trees. Such was the force of the impact that the engine of VW Golf car was dislodged on to the road.

“The driver of the Volkswagen Golf was knocked unconscious,” said Mr Magee. “She was freed from the vehicle and taken to hospital. She underwent open surgery to address her right foot and had a plate inserted. She also sustained an injury to her chest and had a drain inserted into her chest. She had skin grafts to her foot and further surgery will be required to her foot. She spent two weeks in hospital.’

“She was physically sick when she discovered who the driver of the other vehicle was.’’

Woodside was arrested and cautioned while being treated in hospital. Five hours after the accident Woodside was tested and found to have 154 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of his blood. “He was twice the legal limit at this time,’’ the prosecutor told Judge Grant.

The court heard that when the car was examined, the speedometer of the Mercedes car was “frozen’’at a speed of between 75-80 mph.

Judge Grant said Woodside would spend 21 months in custody and a further 21 months on licence following his release on licence.

Woodside received concurrent sentences of 18 months for aggravated vehicle taking and three months on each count of driving with excess alcohol and driving with no insurance. He was also banned from driving for six years and is required to sit the advance driver’s course.