A driver who crashed his car into a tree during a row with his girlfriend has been jailed for two years.
Christopher Delacy, 29, was rowing with Antonia Bradshaw-Milner as he drove along Old Shoreham Road in Portslade at 2.45pm on November 16, 2016, when he started veering his speeding car left and right.
The car sped past a bus before smashing the Victoria Park barrier, plunging 20ft down a bank and hitting a tree.
He tried to blame his girlfriend who he claimed grabbed the wheel as they argued – but following a trial at Brighton Crown Court, a jury found him guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
This morning, Delacy, of Brighton Road, Lancing, was sentenced to two years in prison and banned from driving for three years.
As he was taken away, Miss Bradshaw-Milner shouted “I love you, I’m sorry!” to him, and he replied “I love you babe.”
Miss Bradshaw-Milner initially told police he had “ragged” her before the crash, which left her with a broken left arm and right wrist and Delacy with a broken collarbone and foot.
This account was backed up by a van driver who had passed the car and seen Delacy apparently grabbing her head and pushing it down onto the dashboard.
But at the trial, she retracted her statement, instead telling the jury she could not remember what had happened.
During yesterday’s closing statements, Delacy’s defence barrister Hollie Collinge told the jury that her rudeness in the witness stand meant it was “not so hard to believe” she could have lost her temper and grabbed the wheel.
And when she recounted the testimony of Delacy’s sister Jade, who claimed Miss Bradshaw-Milner had confessed doing just that, Miss Bradshaw-Milner shouted at the lawyer “you’re sh*t at your job, you rat!”.
She was ordered out of court, and only allowed to return for today’s sentencing after a stern warning from Judge Andrew Goymer that any further outbursts would result in her being “taken down to the cells” for contempt of court.
Sentencing Delacy, he said: “Anyone with any sense knows it’s never a good thing to get into argument if one is driving.
“The injuries were serious within the legal definition but fortunately they were not life threatening or life changing. It means therefore that the actual harm is mercifully not great, though it could have been much greater.
“No innocent third part was hurt but such a person, a pedestrian, cyclist or someone in another vehicle could have been seriously injured or even killed if they had had the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when the defendant’s vehicle pursued the course that it did and left the road.
“This was in my view a deliberate piece of bad driving and started by a loss of temper on the defendant’s part.”