Dangerous double drug-driver awaits sentence for injuring cyclist

Police, paramedics and the East Anglian Air Ambulance responded following the crash on Long Road in

Police, paramedics and the East Anglian Air Ambulance responded following the crash - Credit: Archant

A 32-year-old man has admitted causing serious injury to a cyclist by driving dangerously – with two different types of illegal drug in his bloodstream.

Matthew Ward appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday to admit causing serious injury to cyclist Sam Ellis by dangerous driving last summer.

He also pleaded guilty to driving with 36 microgrammes of ketamine and 6.5mcg of cannabis derivative Delta-9-THC per litre of blood – the respective legal limits being 20mcg and 2mcg.

Ward, of The Larches, in Wrentham, was driving an Audi A4, which collided with a bicycle being ridden by Mr Ellis, in Long Road, Lowestoft, at about 5pm on July 6, 2020.

The police, ambulance service and the East Anglian Air Ambulance were called to the scene.

Mr Ellis, who was in his 20s at the time of the crash, was taken to the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston, and subsequently transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridgeshire, with a punctured lung.

Prosecutor Peter Gair told the court that Ward had been arrested for drug-driving just three weeks before the crash and was later banned from the road for three years this January.

Most Read

He was also on post-sentence supervision at the time, following his release from prison for a previous conviction.  

Judge Rupert Overbury said that, although a victim impact statement mentioned a possible brain injury suffered by Mr Ellis, it contained no more detail about future prognosis.

"I'm asking for an up-to-date victim personal statement and a sentencing note from the prosecution," he added.

Judge Overbury released Ward on unconditional bail until his sentencing on Friday, March 19.

He told Ward: "This is an extremely serious offence – aggravated against your background – it may very well be that you receive an immediate custodial sentence."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter