Disqualified driver seriously injured pedestrian and passenger in St Leonards crash

A disqualified driver who crashed into a wall in St Leonards, seriously injuring a pedestrian and his passenger, has been jailed, police have confirmed.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 3:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 3:31 pm

Police were on patrol on the A259 at Hastings in the early hours of July 1, 2019, when they spotted a yellow Fiat Punto which accelerated away from them, reaching speeds of up to 70mph in the 30mph zone.

Officers pursued the vehicle, according to police, before it made a ‘sudden right turn into Warrior Square’, and crashed into a member of public and a brick wall.

Police said a 27-year-old male pedestrian and a 22-year-old female passenger, both from the local area, sustained serious injuries which required hospital treatment.

Rhys Kersey (inset) seriously injured a pedestrian and his passenger when he crashed into a wall in St Leonards. Picture: Sussex Police SUS-210315-145517001
Rhys Kersey (inset) seriously injured a pedestrian and his passenger when he crashed into a wall in St Leonards. Picture: Sussex Police SUS-210315-145517001

The driver – Rhys Kersey – was uninjured.

Enquiries revealed the unemployed man, of no fixed address, had been disqualified from driving for 24 months at South West London Magistrates’ Court on February 28, 2017, for dangerous driving, police confirmed.

He was subsequently arrested and charged with driving while disqualified, failing to stop when required by police, driving without insurance and failing to stop after a road traffic collision.

He pleaded guilty to all four offences, and at Lewes Crown Court on March 2, he was sentenced to a total of five years and seven months’ imprisonment. He was also disqualified from driving for four years and six months.

Rhys Kersey. Picture: Sussex Police SUS-210315-145537001

Investigating officer, Sergeant Pete Swash, of the Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “Kersey’s sentence reflects not only the seriousness of his crimes, but also his total disregard for the safety of himself and others.

“With a history of convictions for driving offences, it is clear he has failed to take responsibility for his actions, and that has ultimately landed him in prison. He seriously injured two innocent people and it could have been a whole lot worse.

“We will continue to proactively patrol our county’s roads in order to keep everyone safe and to deal robustly with anyone who compromises this.”

Rhys Kersey was disqualified from driving at the time of the crash. Picture: Sussex Police SUS-210315-145527001