Dangerous driver who killed puppy in Workington is jailed

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A dangerous driver has been jailed after careering out of control at speed on a Workington street and causing injuries, extensive damage and the death of a puppy.‬‪

Michael Guy Benedict Ash, 34, took the keys to his partner’s Kia without her permission on May 10 and then offered his elderly mum a lift from his Moss Bay Road home despite having earlier been drinking and holding only a provisional licence.‬

William Rae, walking with wife Amy and their dogs on leads along Casson Road, heard “engine revs and tyre screeches”. He saw the Kia on the wrong side of the road, and described the driving as “erratic, dangerous and fast”.

Though the couple took evasive action, Mr Rae was caught on the right side of his body by the Kia, which also struck a Ford Fiesta, two parked vans and a wall.‬

Mr Rae opened the Kia’s door, seized the keys, told Ash to stay put and said he was calling police. He saw his puppy under the car still breathing but badly hurt.

It sadly died on its way to the vets. Mr Rae, treated in hospital for his injuries, said: “This has caused incredible upset in our family.”

Ash and his mother were also hurt, he failing a roadside breath test and unable to comply with two police station readings.

He admitted offences including dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking and failing to provide a specimen.

Judith McCullough, defending, spoke of Ash’s drink problem, adding: “He wishes to say sorry to all those affected by his actions that day.”

Jailing Ash for eight-months and imposing a two-year driving ban, Judge David Potter told him prison was the only possible punishment for “putting yourself, your mum and other road users at substantial risk of serious injury, and putting people’s property at substantial risk of damage”.