Disqualified driver imprisoned after high-speed crash

Long jail term for road “menace” who mowed down pensioner.

A disqualified driver who mowed down a pensioner as he sped along a Birmingham road on his lunch break has been jailed.

West Midlands Police officers found Richard Allen hiding in bushes little more than an hour after the collision in Birmingham Road, Sutton Coldfield, on 12 July last year.

Allen − who was banned from the roads in 2001 for dangerous driving after he’d failed to stop for police − tore through the town centre’s 30-zone at what some witnesses estimated to be in excess of 50mph. Witnesses described seeing him overtaking traffic on his motorbike through a pedestrian crossing shortly before he ploughed into a 71-year-old woman.

The lady was flung in the air and suffered multiple, serious fractures, including a broken hip and has never truly recovered from her injuries.

Allen glanced back at the woman lying prone in the street but sped away from the crash and dumped his bike at a mechanic’s garage near his home address. However, a quick-thinking member of the public noted down the Honda CBR’s registration number and just after 1pm a police sniffer dog tracked Allen from his home address in Chantry Avenue, Walsall, to dense undergrowth where he was found hiding.

Examination of the 38-year-old’s mobile phone revealed more shocking examples of his recklessness at the wheel, including one video clip showing him driving at 140mph on the M69 in an Audi TT while filming.

At one stage, Allen − identified by a distinctive tattoo on his arm − took a drag on a cigarette which meant he had no hands on the wheel despite speeding at twice the motorway limit.

In interview, Allen denied responsibility and claimed the lady walked out in front of his bike. However, collision investigators spoke to several witnesses who described seeing Allen accelerating into the woman without braking − and after a four-day trial he was found unanimously guilty of causing serious injury through dangerous driving.

Allen was jailed for four-and-a-half years for the collision, plus an additional year for each of the three other dangerous driving incidents shown on his mobile phone. He was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday 12th July − exactly a year to the day since the collision − and disqualified from driving for a decade.

Detective Constable Karl Davies from West Midlands Police’s Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Richard Allen was a disqualified driver who shouldn’t have even been on the road, let alone driving in such a dangerous manner.

“The judge described him as ‘a menace to decent law-abiding road users’ and he left his victim lying in the road having suffered very serious injuries and multiple fractures. “He didn’t check on her or try to get her medical attention… Allen was only interested in himself, fleeing the scene and trying to cover his tracks.

“However, little more than an hour later our officers tracked him from the rear of his home into thick undergrowth where he was hiding. Speed ruins lives but Allen is clearly a man who does not appreciate the huge responsibility for public safety that comes with driving on our roads. He is a menace at the wheel and I hope the long prison sentence handed to him acts as a deterrent to others who may believe they can speed with impunity.

“I would like to thank all the members of the public who offered assistance to the victim and the witnesses who came forward to help us secure this conviction.”

Allen was disqualified from driving for two years in January 2001 and remained banned having never since taken the extended test needed to regain his licence.