Former Trance DJ Sentenced For Striking Cyclist With Car

In Swindon, England, Steed Howells was said to be absolutely devastated by what he had done.

Jailing the 30-year-old for 10 months, Judge Jason Taylor QC said: “What might have happened could have been far worse because it was 3pm on a weekday and your route took you past a primary school.”

Prosecutor Colin Meeke told Swindon Crown Court that Howells was at a friend’s house on July 24 drinking wine when he left, saying he was going to the cash point.

Instead, he stole the keys to his friend’s red Vauxhall Astra. “He had no insurance and no driving licence to cover his use of that vehicle but that is perhaps the least of his difficulties,” Mr Meeke said.

He took the car out, driving it around east Swindon. At the Snodshill roundabout on Dorcan Way he struck a cyclist. She was halfway across the entrance to the roundabout when her pushbike was hit.

The cyclist heard a car she believed was speeding and when she came round she found she was being tended by a pair of Wiltshire Police civilian investigators. She suffered broken ribs. Her bicycle, which had been adapted specifically for her, was written off.

The investigators found the Astra further down the road. There was debris strewn across the road. Howells had struck a concrete post with such force that it had become stuck in the car. He was still in the drivers’ seat, apparently trying to get the car moving. “It was clearly going nowhere,” Mr Meeke said.

He was taken to hospital where a urine sample showed he was roughly twice over the drink-drive limit.

Mr Meeke said the cyclist suffered two broken ribs. “She couldn’t hug her six-year-old daughter because it hurt so much.”

Emma Handslip, defending, said her client was absolutely devastated by his actions and was trying to take responsibility for what he had done.

The former trance DJ, who performed under the moniker DJ Double Drop, fell into drug and alcohol addiction in around 2018. Since then, he has been before the courts numerous times mostly for thefts. He struggled with his mental health and had spent time in hospital with blood poisoning, linked to his use of drugs.

Howells, of Briarswood Court, Liden, admitted aggravated vehicle taking, drink driving, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, and driving without a licence or insurance.

He was given a 27-month driving ban by Judge Taylor, who told Howells: “You have a strong work ethic and you are capable of being industrious when you rid yourself of addiction, which I hope you will achieve.”

Erik Lake

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