A drug-driver who lost control of a speeding Subaru Impreza and injured his own three-year-old son in the Calderdale crash has been jailed for a total of 22 months.
A judge said cannabis-user Daniel Lickess, 29, had been “showing off” in the car, which contained two other adults as well as his son, when it narrowily avoided a collision with another vehicle at the junction of Raistrick Common and Gooder Lane in Brighouse last June.
Bradford Crown Court heard today that the Subaru was described as “pirouetting” down the road, which has a 20mph limit, completely out of control before it crashed into a factory wall and steel railings.
The boy, who had been wearing a seat belt in the rear of the vehicle, was seen being carried away from the crash scene and he was later taken to hospital by Lickess’ mother.
The child was kept in overnight, but the court heard he had not suffered any lasting physical effects.
A male passenger in the Subaru also suffered minor whiplash injuries in the crash and when Lickess was later arrested from his home he was found to be over the limit for cannabis.
In September Lickess, of Deer Croft Crescent, Huddersfield, had his driving licence revoked under the “totting up” procedure, but in January this year he was again caught driving while over the cannabis limit.
On that occasion Lickess, who was by then disqualified and had no insurance, was driving his own Vauxhall Insignia in Elland when he provided a positive test for drugs after a police stop.
Judge Jonathan Rose noted that in January Lickess was more than three times the permitted cannabis level when he was pulled over.
Lickess admitted a series of charges including two offences of driving while over the drug limit, driving without insurance, driving while disqualified and failing to stop after an accident.
He was also found guilty by magistrates of dangerous driving in respect of the crash in June.
Barrister Abigail Langford said her client was a self-employed plasterer who appeared to have been using cannabis to abate the symptoms of a medical condition relating to extreme agitation and an inability to “control his limbs”.
“The consequences of this collision, I accept on his behalf, could have been devastating,” said Miss Langford.
“The defendant understands the danger he placed his son in and is devastated now, in the cold light of day, with having done that.”
Judge Rose said he could not imagine there was a single loving parent in the world who would consider taking a three-year-old child out in a Subaru Impreza when they had no licence to drive it, no insurance to drive it and under the influence of cannabis.
“No parent would regard that as anything other than irresponsible, exceptionally dangerous and without a single element of thought for the child. A child who was not even in an appropriate child seat.
“You were not concentrating on the road. You were concentrating on showing off. That is the only possible conclusion for what happened that day.
“The child was injured. It is a miracle he was not killed. It was a miracle that the injuries sustained by him and by others were not more severe.”
The judge banned Lickess from driving for a total of three years and 11 months and he must also take an extended driving test at the end of that ban.
Judge Rose also ordered that his Vauxhall Insignia car should be seized under a deprivation order.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest news and breaking incidents in Halifax - join our dedicated Facebook group here.