Sidmouth father crashes car with child in passenger seat and flees scene

Exeter magistrates court. Ref exe 01-17TI 4928. Picture: Terry Ife

Exeter magistrates court. Ref exe 01-17TI 4928. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A Sidmouth father caused thousands of pounds worth of damage when he ploughed a car into two vehicles with a child in the passenger seat, a court heard.

Robert John Roy Bastin got behind the wheel of a grey Toyota, without a licence or insurance, and lost control of the vehicle in High Street, Honiton.

Fearing he would be arrested, the 24-year-old fled the scene with his 12-year-old step-daughter.

The defendant appeared at Exeter Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday and admitted to five charges relating to the incident which happened on April 22.

Magistrates handed Bastin a 12-month community order and told him to complete 180 hours of unpaid work and pay £200 in compensation. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.

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Bastin, who has a five-month-old daughter and five step-children with his partner, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention, failing to stop and report a road accident and to driving without insurance and a licence.

The court heard Bastin, of Railway Terrace, Sidmouth, had been driving down the road and glanced at his daughter in the passenger seat.

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As a result, the car veered off to the left and collided with a blue Volkswagen causing £15,000 worth of damage.

The vehicle he was driving then crashed into a second car before coming to a stop on the other side of the road.

Prosecuting, Lynsey Baker said a witness saw Bastin get out the car and walk around to the damaged passenger door which he wrenched open, before removing the child and leaving the scene.

The court heard Bastin had panicked because he knew he would be arrested and wanted to get his step-daughter somewhere safe, which is why he fled the scene leaving the ‘mangled’ car he’d been driving behind.

Defending, Peter Woodley said the defendant had been coming back from a caravan park in Dawlish Warren where he and his heavily-pregnant partner were on holiday with her five children.

Mr Woodley said there had been a family argument and Bastin had decided it would be best to take the 12-year-old away from the situation to his mother’s home.

He told the bench that Bastin had done the ‘wrong thing for the right reasons’ and when he was arrested was ‘very sorry, honest and up front’ with officers.

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