Banned Hucknall mechanic crashed customer’s car at 'high speed' on test drive
A mechanic from Hucknall who crashed a customer's car as he took it for a test drive had been banned for drink driving three months earlier, a court has heard.
Michal Romanowski was driving an Audi S3 at "high speed" with the customer in the passenger seat, on North Gate, in New Basford, Nottingham, when he crashed into a Renault Clio, and rolled into a wall, just before midday, on November 2, last year.
He shouted, "Get out of the car," and his customer, assuming the car was on fire, got out, said prosecutor Sanjay Jerath.
Romanowski told him: "Tell them you were driving the car," before he ran back to the garage.
The court heard he has one previous conviction for two counts of driving with excess alcohol and driving without a licence, from July 27, last year. He received a suspended sentence and is banned from driving until July 2023.
"So soon after being given that particular disqualification he is back behind the wheel," said Mr Jerath.
James Buckley, mitigating, said Romanowski "runs a substantial risk of getting a custodial sentence."
But he argued the order he received last July was "setting him up to fail."
"The sentence he got didn't address issues raised in the probation report like his alcohol consumption,” Mr Buckley said.
"He had started that day as a mechanic. A lot of repairs these days use laptops for diagnostic work.
"He took the job hoping to stay entirely within the garage environment. He was put under pressure by his boss to do it.
"Nobody was injured. He would have to accept he knew there was an accident and left the scene. He pleaded guilty at the first opportunity."
Romanowski, 32, of Christchurch Road, Hucknall, admitted driving while disqualified, failing to stop after an accident, driving without insurance, and driving without due care and attentionn, when he appeared at Nottingham Magistrates Court, on May 28.
On Friday, magistrates imposed an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with 15 rehabilitation days to “address his issues.” He was fined £230, with a £128 surcharge and £85 costs. He was banned for 42 months.
"You ve been very lucky on this occasion,” he was told. "Please take this opportunity to get yourself sorted.”