Driver jailed after crash which left speech therapist with devastating injuries and struggling to talk - The Leamington Observer

Driver jailed after crash which left speech therapist with devastating injuries and struggling to talk

Leamington Editorial 13th Jul, 2018   0

A SPEECH therapist has been left struggling to talk after suffering devastating injuries when a speeding car ploughed into the side of her as she pulled off her driveway.

Adrienne Cave’s Mini Clubman, in which one of her daughters was also badly hurt, was shunted nearly 40 metres down the road by a Mercedes driven by a man who had overslept and was late for college.

Matthew Stark was jailed for two years by a judge at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Stark, age 20 of Henley Road, Claverdon, who lived just 400 yards from the scene of the crash, was also banned for four years and will have to take a re-test before getting his licence back.




Prosecutor Daniel Wright said that at around 7.30am last October 31, Stark was driving towards Henley and was doing ‘well in excess of the 50mph speed limit’.

At the same time Adrienne Cave began to pull out of the drive of her home in Henley Road in her Mini Clubman, with her daughter Naomi in the passenger seat.


Stark’s Mercedes, which was estimated to have been doing 68mph, ploughed into the side of the Mini, shunting it down the road and ‘causing massive intrusion into the driver’s side.’

Mum-of-two Mrs Cave suffered severe life-threatening head and internal injuries, and after being freed from the wreckage she was airlifted to hospital where she was not anticipated to survive.

She was kept in hospital for four months, spending time in intensive care and wearing a cage attached to her head for 12 weeks.

Since her discharge, Mrs Cave, who is in her 40s, has had to attend hospital nearly 70 times – and was not at court for the hearing because she was undergoing another scan.

Mrs Cave now struggles with her balance, mobility, sight, eating, swallowing and speech.

Mr Wright added that 17-year-old Naomi had injuries which included a fractured pelvis and a punctured lung, and has made a full physical recovery.

Tom Gent, defending, said Stark had overslept that morning which meant he left home 10 minutes late for his drive to college in Birmingham, which would normally take him about 40 minutes.

Mr Gent said: “It has had terrible consequences which will be far-reaching and will live with him forever.

“He is a hard-working young man of good background. He is full of remorse, and has written a heartfelt letter to Mrs Cave.”

Jailing Stark, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “This is a lady who was a highly specialist paediatric speech and language therapist and, more importantly, the mother of two daughters and a loving wife.

“Out of nowhere, the lynchpin of their family was swept away into a new life of hospital treatment and therapy. It is impossible to imagine she will ever fully recover.

“You are a young man of positive good character, and these cases are the most tragic in many ways that I deal with, because they involve people who went out that morning without any intention to harm anyone.”

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