18 months jail for 'pub crawl' drink-driver who left victims severely injured after head-on collision

Omagh man Paul Hollywood

A DRINK driver who lost control of his BMW and smashed head-on into another car causing life changing injuries to two women, has been jailed for 18 months.

Dungannon Crown Court heard that after the incident, Co Tyrone man Paul Hollywood - who had been on a pub crawl for several hours - denied being the driver and later refused to provide a breath test.

Hollywood (26) from Crockanboy Road in Omagh admitted driving while unfit and two counts of causing grievous bodily harm to the women.

The court heard he had driven between five different bars during the pub crawl on August 7 2016.

However while travelling along the Beltany Road, Omagh, Hollywood rounded a left-hand bend, lost control and ploughed head-on into the victims’ car.

When police spoke to him at the scene it was noted he appeared drunk. Asked what had happened he replied: “I was not the driver. I was not driving and that’s the truth.”

One of the victims at the scene told police: “He looked and sounded drunk. He didn’t seem to care and was very cheeky and rowdy.”

Whilst he gave a preliminary breath sample which returned a reading of 81mcg, he later refused to provide an evidential specimen.

The two women sustained injuries which were described in court as “life-changing”.

One suffered a broken leg requiring a permanent metal plate to be fitted. Her left ankle was broken and the heel badly shattered.

The second victim also sustained serious injuries including a broken chest bone and left foot, a hole in her bowel and laceration of her abdomen. Whilst recovering, she developed a clot in her left leg requiring additional and ongoing treatment.

When Hollywood was first formally questioned, he admitted driving the vehicle but when interviewed a second time, he claimed another person was the driver.

However enquires revealed the claims were false.

Hollywood later reverted to his original admission, but claimed he had no memory of the incident.

Prosecution counsel Kieran Harvey referred to a medical expert’s report which said "there is some doubt over the veracity of the amnesia.”

The prosecution lawyer said: "I would submit the defendant has not provided the full story.”

Defence counsel Michael Ford said his client wanted to apologise to the women for his actions.

Urging His Honour Judge Stephen Fowler QC against a custodial sentence, he continued: “This was largely out of character for my client. He is hard-working, attends Mass every Sunday, gives to charity and is involved in his local football and boxing club.”

Judge Fowler however said that Hollywood had been on a pub crawl and pointed out there was “deliberate reticence” to provide police with a breath specimen, later claiming to have no memory of his alcohol consumption.

Judge Fowler said: “He was over the legal alcohol limit and well he knows it.”

Hollywood, who will spend a further 18 months on supervised licence on his release, was also disqualified from driving for four years.

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