Suspended sentence for Devizes man who was using phone prior to life-changing crash


KEITH Burdess, from Rowde, Devizes, has been given a 15 month custodial sentence suspended for two years for driving offences following a serious collision on the A4 at Froxfield.

Just after 4pm on 11 September 2015, a Burdess was driving a Mini Countryman from Froxfield towards Marlborough when it crossed the central double white line system and collided head on with a Mercedes C220.

Officers found that the Burdess’s mobile phone was live prior to the collision and a seven minute 56 second mobile phone call ended at the time of the collision. This was a hand held mobile phone and was not linked to the vehicles Bluetooth facility. The call was tracked and started around five miles before the collision.

As a result of the collision both drivers suffered serious life changing injuries.

Burdess, 47, pleaded guilty at Salisbury Crown Court to the offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and in addition to the suspended sentence he was disqualified from driving for two years with a requirement to take an extended driving test.

PC Will Ayres said: “The driver of the Mercedes sustained severe injuries which have dramatically changed his life forever. It has been a very tough time for the victim, his business and his whole family.

“This collision sadly shows the devastating result of using a mobile phone whilst driving and shows an obvious distraction to the offending driver in this collision. Drivers using mobile phones not only risk penalty points, convictions and potentially prison but all too often we deal with serious collisions where serious/fatal injuries occur where mobile phone use has been a contributing factor.

“I urge all drivers who may be tempted to use a mobile phone whilst driving to look at the attached images and to put their phone out of reach or sight.

“We find that often drivers committing the offence of using a mobile phone whilst driving say the same thing, ‘it was only a quick call/text’ or ‘it was only a few seconds’. The distraction might only take a few seconds but the consequences can last a life time.”

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