Arsonist avoids prison term after crashing car while over limit

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A judge has given a 29-year-old Greetland man a final chance to avoid prison after handing out a second suspended jail term.

Stuart Dominiak, who was given a suspended prison sentence last year for an arson offence, was back before Judge Jonathan Rose after a New Year’s Day car crash.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Dominiak, of Highfield Avenue, was more than three times the drink drive limit when the BMW he was driving narrowly avoided hitting pedestrians walking along Sowerby Croft Lane, Sowerby Bridge, and crashed into an on-coming Renault Clio.

Prosecutor Shahida Qureshi said the collision caused extensive damage to the Clio, which was written off, and the male motorist later needed therapy because the incident had left him a nervous driver.

In his victim impact statement the complainant driver said Dominiak’s car was coming too fast round the bend and the accident meant he had to cancel a planned skiing trip.

Miss Qureshi said Dominiak was seen staggering around after the lunchtime collision and allegedly told one witness he was “hammered”.

Dominiak tried to get away as police officers arrived but he was arrested and breathalysed.

His blood alcohol reading was found to be more than three times the legal limit although he claimed that people may have thought he was drunk because of the effects of taking paracetamol tablets and his mental health difficulties.

Dominiak pleaded guilty to offences of driving while over the limit, driving without due care and attention and failing to stop after an accident.

After reading a letter from Dominiak’s parents and other medical documents Judge Rose told him he had been fortunate that noone was killed or severely injured.

But the judge said he was satisfied that Dominiak was suffering from serious mental health problems around the time of the latest offending and had sought refuge in alcohol.

The judge said Dominiak had been responding well to the help he had been receiving, but he warned him that if they met for a third time he would go to jail.

Dominiak was sentenced to a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and he will also have be supervised by the probation service for the next 18 months.

He was also banned from driving or two years.