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Top runner Marshall jailed after dangerous driving leaves two badly injured

Runner Lamont Marshall has been jailed by Supreme Court for aggressive driving that left two people injured.

The 28-year-old athlete was told by Puisne Judge Stephen Hellman: “You were an accident waiting to happen — and that accident did happen.”

Marshall, an anti-conscription campaigner who works as a trash collector for the City of Hamilton, was yesterday sentenced to six months’ imprisonment.

He was also banned from driving for 18 months.

Calling Marshall “wholly or at least very substantially” to blame for the August 13, 2012 crash, Mr Justice Hellman said the night’s events represented “not a momentary lapse” but “sustained” dangerous driving.

Marshall was driving east when he ran a red light at 1.09am at the junction of South Shore and Middle Roads in Paget.

His car crossed over the centre line into the oncoming lane, and the westbound bike driven by Ian Scotton with pillion passenger Carley Lima crashed trying to avoid him.

Mr Scotton, who was flung to the verge of Paget Marsh, was left with leg injuries and lingering pain, while Ms Lima, whom police found lying in the road, sustained a serious head injury.

Mr Justice Hellman expressed concern that “little remorse or acceptance of responsibility” was shown by the record-holding runner in his social inquiry report.

Marshall pleaded guilty in February to two counts of causing injury by dangerous driving.

Charges of impaired driving were dropped.

However, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Cindy Clarke pointed out that Marshall has since admitted to having an alcohol problem.

Summing up evidence for the prosecution, Ms Clarke told the court Ms Lima had to be airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital. Blood was drained from her head, two plates put in her skull, and 72 staples were used to close the wound. She also had a ruptured eardrum.

Ms Lima was left with months of facial paralysis and loss of hearing in one ear.

Mr Scotton “can’t live as he used to”, Ms Clarke added, and cannot take part in his regimental duties — or find work in his chosen profession.

Of that night’s crash, Mr Scotton wrote that “nothing else has affected his life as much”.

Suggesting a three to six-month sentence, Ms Clarke cited a “high degree of recklessness” and “disregard” in the defendant’s driving.

Defence lawyer Eugene Johnston disputed the prosecution’s claim that his client had been driving “very” aggressively earlier in the evening, and questioned the extent to which Marshall crossed into the oncoming lane.

Mr Johnston ultimately declined the court’s offer to challenge the evidence through a Newton Hearing.

Mr Justice Hellman referred to a report from a driver that night who said he was “confused and felt uneasy” by a vehicle that followed him on South Shore Road, forcing him to pull over near Bermuda College.

The judge declined to hear any argument that the accident had “burdened” Marshall. However, Marshall is now under certain restrictions when travelling in the US, the court heard.

Addressing the court, the Loyal Hill, Devonshire resident told Mr Justice Hellman: “I am sorry for my involvement in the accident. Since then I have become a more cautious driver. I assure you I will never put myself in this predicament again.”

However, noting the Island’s prevalence of dangerous driving, and Marshall’s culpability in overshooting the red light and “wholly or partially” crossing to the wrong side of the road, Mr Justice Hellman gave him an immediate sentence of six months’ imprisonment, plus a year-and-a-half driving ban.

Reparations will be left to the civil courts.

Aggressive driving: Lamont Marshall was yesterday jailed for six months (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published April 04, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 04, 2013 at 12:26 am)

Top runner Marshall jailed after dangerous driving leaves two badly injured

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