‘Burn-out’ car cruiser banned from driving

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A car club member involved in an accident which left a man with serious leg injuries has been barred from getting behind the wheel.

Robert Cousens, 21, of Olivers Meadow, Westergate, received a six month driving ban and ordered to complete 130 hours’ community service after he was charged with careless driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

He pleaded guilty to both offences at Chichester Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, March 27.

The court heard police were called just before 10pm on Saturday, March 10, to a ‘car cruise’ event at Portfield Retail Park in Chichester, following a report a 19-year-old man, who was a spectator, had sustained a badly broken leg.

Investigations identified Cousens was the driver responsible: he was driving a white BMW and conducting a ‘burn-out’ manoeuvre when he lost control and collided with the victim. Although he initially stopped to help, he left the scene before police arrived.

PC Pete May, from the Road Policing Unit, said: “Cousens was part of a local car club branding themselves ‘Cannibeanz’, which regularly uploads footage onto the internet. We were able to obtain some of this footage and use it in evidence, as it clearly showed their anti-social driving on the roads of Sussex in great detail.

“Sussex Police want to send a clear message that reckless and anti-social driving like this will not be tolerated on our roads. It is very sad that a minority of drivers openly flout the law and drive carelessly, simply to show off to their peers, putting people’s lives at risk.”

The victim, who was taken to St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester where he underwent a skin graft and numerous operations, has been left with scars and injuries he may never recover from.