Puppy put down and owner injured after drug-driver crashed into car near Blencogo, west of Wigton

Credit PA/Border
Police say the driver had cocaine in his system Credit: PA stock image / ITV News Border

A drug-driver has been banned from the roads after a collision left another motorist injured and their dog needing to being put down.

Joseph William Coulthard Clark, of Braithwaite, near Keswick, had taken cocaine two days before a crash near Blencogo, west of Wigton.

The 24-year-old's Ford Ranger failed to stop at a junction on 1 March, and careered into another car.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how the female driver of the other vehicle suffered soft tissue damage in her shoulder from her seatbelt and was taken to hospital. Her puppy had been on the passenger seat at the time of the collision and sustained a broken spine, resulting in it being put to sleep.

The woman said: “I heard my puppy screaming beside me."

She continued: “The rest of the incident was a blur as a result of the shock of the crash and the injury to my dog.”

The court heard how since the crash, the woman has been on medication after suffering flashbacks and anxiety which required time off work.

Clark, of Braithwaite Farm, Braithwaite, remained at the the scene of the incident.

After providing a positive drug-wipe test it was found he was over the legal limit for a cocaine breakdown product.

His lawyer Mark Shepard said Clark was under “enormous pressure” at the time.

Mr Shepard also pointed to references provided in support of Clark which described him as “polite, extremely kind, reliable, hard-working, kind hearted.”

The court heard that Clark had not been on the road before and misjudged it “badly.”

Mr Shepard said: “The decision to take cocaine, which was a couple of days prior to this, is something he bitterly regrets.”

Clark admitted to charges of drug-driving and careless driving, and has no other convictions to his name.

The 24-year-old received a 12-month community order, must complete 80 hours’ unpaid work and a two-year driving ban.

Listen to ITV News' What you Need to Know Podcast: