November 26, 2021 8.00 am

Driver without licence or insurance jailed after smashing into Lincolnshire level crossing

He caused £45k worth of damage

An unlicensed and uninsured driver who smashed into a Lincolnshire level crossing causing £45,000 worth of damage was jailed for 12 months on Tuesday.

Romanian national Tudorel-Dorinel Carmocanu had taken the car from a friend without permission when he collided with the Park Road level crossing in Spalding during the early hours of October 26 last year.

Carmocanu, 26, of Holbeach Road, Spalding, admitted charges of aggravated vehicle taking and criminal damage to property.

Lincoln Crown Court heard the damage caused to the level crossing was estimated at £46,160 to rectify by Network Rail.

Steven Gosnell, prosecuting, said Carmocanu drove the Renault Megane at speeds of up to 60-70mph in built up areas of Spalding.

The court was told Carmocanu had taken the car from where it was parked outside Central Tyres in Spalding after obtaining the keys from a mutual friend of the owner.

Mr Gosnell said Carmocanu filled up the car with £10 worth of petrol before heading up Park Road and colliding with the level crossing.

The car caused damage to barriers and fencing on both sides of the crossing before hitting a lampost and coming to rest within the railway boundary.

An eye witness woken by the 4.50am crash saw Carmocanu appearing to take a photo of the vehicle and leaving the scene.

Police attended and tracked down the registered owner of the car who told them Carmocanu had confessed to crashing his car.

During interview Carmocanu, who listened to the hearing via a Romanian interpreter, accepted taking the car for no particular reason after having a drink.

David Eager, mitigating, said Carmocanu was a hard working shift worker and father who could not explain “this moment of madness.”

Mr Eager told the court Carmocanu was also of previous good character.

Passing sentence Judge Simon Hirst said the cost of damage caused to the level crossing was in excess of £45,000.

The judge added that Carmocanu was fortunate not to have hit any other cars or pedestrians.

“Park Road was a built up area with a speed limit of 30mph. You lost control,” the judge told him.

Carmocanu was also banned from driving for two and half years, and must take an extended retest.

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