Passenger pulled handbrake causing head-on crash with elderly couple in Chichester

Sussex Police
Jake Sharpe was travelling as a rear seat passenger in the vehicle travelling on the A259 near Bosham. Credit: Sussex Police

A back-seat passenger has been sentenced for causing a serious car crash by pulling the handbrake.

Jake Sharpe, 28, was travelling in a silver Vauxhall on the A259 near Bosham, Chichester when he caused it to crash at around 2pm on 25 November 2022.

The driver of the Vauxhall lost control and swerved into the oncoming carriageway, where it crashed head-on into an elderly couple travelling in a silver Hyundai car.

The front-seat passenger of the Hyundai was left with life-threatening injuries and its driver was also hurt.

The passenger of the Vauxhall also suffered serious and potentially life-changing injuries. Credit: Sussex Police

Speaking after the case, investigating officer PC Tom Van Der Wee said: "Sharpe caused a devastating collision as a result of his inexplicable stupidity that day.

"He has shown no remorse or concern for those injured – a completely innocent elderly couple travelling in one vehicle and his two colleagues travelling in the vehicle he was in – one of whom has had his career in the armed forces severely impacted due to the injury he sustained.

"This case demonstrates our determination to get justice for the victims in this difficult case."

The court heard that both vehicles were travelling at speeds within the limit of 50mph and 60mph at the time. Credit: Sussex Police

At Portsmouth Crown Court on 12 January, Sharpe, a member of the armed forces, of Otway Road, Chichester, appeared for sentence.

Sharpe gave no reason for why he had carried out such a dangerous action on the road.

He admitted two counts of causing grievous bodily harm, two counts of causing criminal damage to a motor vehicle, and one count of common assault.

Sharpe was sentenced to 23 months in prison.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...