Jury rejects crash man’s wasp claim

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AN AMATEUR cricketer from Belper could be jailed after a jury rejected his claim that a wasp sting caused an horrific head-on crash.

David Boyes, 22, claimed he passed out at the wheel as he returned home from a cricket tour because he has a rare allergy, which caused a delayed reaction.

But a jury at Exeter Crown Court took less than three hours to reject his story after hearing from two leading experts that it would have been a medical first.

Boyes, of Laund Nook, claimed to have had little effect from the sting, but that he lost consciousness suddenly and without warning five-and-a-half hours later when he was driving.

The prosecution claimed he was distracted by changing tracks on his iPod or by using his mobile phone when he crashed on the A35 in east Devon.

Boyes had denied a charge of dangerous driving but was convicted.

Judge Phillip Wassall adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report and said custody was a serious possibility. He imposed an interim driving ban because a disqualification of at least a year and an extended re-test are mandatory.

He said: “It is nothing other than luck that the victim did not die, in which circumstances you would be facing years in prison.

“As it is, this offence is so serious custody is likely but you are a young man who has never been in trouble before and I need to know more about you.”

Bank employee Sarah Farquhar, 24, from Axminster, still needs further surgery three years after the crash in which she suffered horrific injuries.

After the verdict she said she was glad that Boyes had been taken off the road and pleased that the jury had rejected his story about the wasp sting.

She said: “It is a good outcome. The story about the wasp was a bit far-fetched and I’m glad the jury did not believe it.

“I’m just glad he is going to be off the road and no-one else will have to go through what I have suffered.

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“It has been hell. I still need more surgery and I have not been able to return to work full time because of my injuries so it has cost me a lot of money and affected my career.”

After the jury returned its verdict Emily Pitts, prosecuting, read out a victim impact statement in which Sarah told how she has been left with one leg longer than the other from the injuries she received.

She suffered two broken thighs, a broken leg, broken toes, a broken collar bone and other injuries. She spent three weeks in hospital and still walks with a limp.