A Brighton man has been spared prison after he admitted driving while disqualified twice in a matter of months.
On the first occasion Colby Broderick was trying to take Abdul Deghayes to hospital after his friend was fatally stabbed just off Elm Grove in February.
Broderick, 26, Falcon Court, Swanborough Place, Brighton, appeared as a prosecution witness last month in the murder trial that is still under way at Hove Crown Court where the jury is out.
At Lewes Crown Court this afternoon (Friday 6 December), Judge Christine Laine was told that Broderick had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder since the stabbing.
Judge Laing, the honorary recorder of Brighton and Hove, said that she would defer sentence so that consultant psychiatrist Simon Baker could prepare a full report.
She told Broderick to co-operate with Dr Baker or prepare to go to prison.
Broderick admitted driving while banned and having no insurance in Brighton in February.
He also admitted identical driving offences after he crashed into a road sign in Warren Road, Brighton, in April.
He was arrested after he asked two off-duty police officers to help push his car back on to the road.
And he pleaded guilty to failing to provide a sample for analysis when accused of drink driving. An initial breath test suggested that he had drunk almost twice as much alcohol as the law permits.
Kerry Moore, prosecuting, said that Broderick now had nine convictions for driving while banned and was subject to a suspended sentence.
Describing the incident in February, Mr Moore said: “It was his eighth offence of driving while disqualified and while uninsured.
“This is a matter which has a certain notoriety. He was driving a VW Polo which he had purchased for some £350 knowing that he was disqualified from driving.
“They had been drinking and had intended to purchase some cocaine. An incident occurred during which Mr Deghayes was fatally wounded.
“As Mr Broderick was trying to drive away from the scene he crashed into some parked cars.”
In May last year Broderick was sentenced to a total of 11 months in prison, suspended for two years, having first been banned from driving in January 2014.
His barrister Jonathan Edwards said that he had a “fairly appalling record of driving”.
Judge Laing said that she would be justified in activating the suspended sentence in full and adding further time for the latest charges.
She said: “However, I have read with great care the letter from Dr Simon Baker
“It is his professional opinion that the defendant is suffering from a form of post-traumatic stress disorder along with more longstanding mental health issues.
“He is being treated with medication and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy).
“Those were extraordinary events. They may have had an impact that could help Mr Broderick turn away from his offending.”
The judge said that she would give Broderick a chance by deferring sentence although the current suspended sentence would continue.
She said: “I am effectively putting the outcome of this case into your own hands. It is down to you entirely.
“You must work with the probation service and most importantly you must not drive and you must not commit any other offences.
“I am a woman of my word. If you comply with all that, you face a suspended sentence. If not, you will be going to prison.
“You know what the future holds if you don’t stick with what I’ve said.”