Drug driver from Malton jailed after crash that 'could so easily have ended his own life'

120422 Drug Driver North Yorkshire Police
The 29-year-old’s black Volvo C30 R-Design T5 ended up in a crumpled heap near the old Yorkshire Coast College site. Credit: North Yorkshire Police

A dangerous drug driver who had to be airlifted to hospital with serious spinal injuries when his car smashed into a tree and lamppost has been jailed for six months and hit with a three-year road ban.

Paul Westoby, 29, of Langley Drive, Norton, Malton, was sentenced at York Crown Court on Monday 11 April following two guilty pleas of dangerous driving and drug driving.

The single-vehicle collision took place on Lady Edith’s Drive, near Scalby Road in Scarborough, at around 5.45 pm on Thursday 29 April last year.

Mr Westoby had been driving with 3.2 microgrammes of cannabis in a litre of blood in his system. Credit: North Yorkshire Police

Firefighters had to cut the roof off the car to get Mr Westoby out while paramedics and an air ambulance crew provided emergency treatment.

North Yorkshire's Traffic Constable, Mark Patterson, said Westoby was "lucky to be alive and even luckier that he did not harm anyone else" in the incident.

Witnesses said the defendant had been “driving erratically and overtaking other vehicles at high speed” just before the collision while heading south on the 30mph limit road.

Credit: North Yorkshire Police

A blood sample taken in hospital found Westoby had been driving with 3.2 microgrammes of cannabis in a litre of blood in his system - the legal limit is 2 microgrammes.

Mr Patterson said: "Shockingly, Westoby was already under investigation for the same offence at the time of the crash after he was stopped by the police in Norton on 30 December 2020.

“On that occasion, he had double the limit for cannabis. He pleaded guilty and was given a 12-month driving ban when he was eventually sentenced in December last year.

“It (the car) had also been modified, and these modifications had not been declared to his insurer who cancelled his policy."

TC Patterson added: “Taking his previous drug driving incident into consideration, Westoby was blatantly in breach of the law on the day of this very serious collision.

“It could so easily have ended his own life or tragically taken the lives of other motorists or pedestrians.

“I welcome the firm stance taken by the court with the custodial sentence, and it is pleasing that Westoby has been disqualified from driving for three years with a three-month extension.

“We simply will not tolerate this type of behaviour on our roads, and we will continue to do everything in our power to bring such offenders to justice and make our roads safer for everyone."