• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Fine for soldier, 18, who crashed into Wantage building


Oct 7, 2022

A drink-driving soldier who claimed he was ‘doing 90’ before smashing into a wall candidly told police: “I f***ed up.”

Ryan Thomas, 18, was heading back to camp after a night at the pub on March 11 when he crashed his Ford Fiesta into a building at the junction of Mill Street and Market Place in Wantage.

It was 11.45pm and there were said to be people in the square. The teenager told a police officer who arrived at the scene: “I was doing 90. I’m sorry, I f***ed up.”

He admitted having been out drinking Red Bull and Jägermeister, telling the constable: “I drank a lot of them.”

A urine sample taken at the police station showed he had 178mlg of alcohol in 100ml of urine. The legal limit is 107.

Appearing before Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, Thomas, of Rooks End, Grove, pleaded guilty to drink driving.

Mavalynne Lewis, mitigating, said Thomas was currently a serving soldier based at Brize Norton. On the night of the crash he had gone to the pub with colleagues. He intended to leave his car there and stay at his father’s home nearby. Instead, he decided to drive back to the camp.

The youngster was ‘extremely remorseful’. He had a promising army career, the magistrates heard.

The bench banned him from driving for 14 months – less than the 15 months that would have risked his expulsion from the armed forces. He was fined £320 and ordered to pay £119 in costs and surcharge.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward