Detective hopes sentence 'sends clear message' after car cruise crash drivers jailed

Emergency services at the scene of the crash that injured 19 in July 2019, Stevenage. Picture: Magpas Air Ambulance

Emergency services at the scene of the crash that injured 19 in July 2019, Stevenage. Picture: Magpas Air Ambulance - Credit: Archant

"I hope this sentence sends a clear message to those that think it is acceptable to drive at speed/race and show off their motor vehicles in this way."

Those are the words of the detective sergeant who led the investigation into the cause of a horror smash, that took place after an unauthorised car cruise event in Stevenage and caused injuries to 19 spectators.

Incredibly, the 21-year-old drivers' actions didn't result any fatalities - but some of those injured were given life-saving treatment. 


The Herts & Essex Air Ambulance team at the scene of the crash in Monkswood Way, Stevenage, with the

The Herts & Essex Air Ambulance team at the scene of the crash in Monkswood Way, Stevenage, with their rapid response car. Picture: @EEAST_CMARTIN - Credit: Archant

Because of their actions, Dominic Brown, from Park Street Lane in  St Albans, and Julian Castano-Perez - from Fitzwalter Place in Dunmow, Essex - are beginning jail sentences.

The horror smash took place on Thursday, July 18, 2019,  after the meet - which had been held at the Roaring Meg Retail Park in Stevenage.

Officers were called to Monkswood Way at around 9.45pm following reports that two cars, which had been driven at speed in the area, had collided and subsequently hit crowds which had gathered to watch. 


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Following an intensive investigation by the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Serious Collision Investigation Unit, Brown and Castano-Perez  were charged with 19 offences in connection with the collision.

Both drivers were charged with eight offences of serious injury by dangerous driving and 11 offences for wanton/furious driving. Prior to the case coming to court, both drivers pleaded guilty to all charges.

At the sentencing today, Brown was handed a five-year jail term and was disqualified from driving for seven-and-a-half years.

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Julian Castano-Perez was sentenced to four years imprisonment and given a driving ban of seven years and four months. 

Detective Sergeant James Thorne, who led the investigation into the collision, said: “This is a very pleasing result. By accepting responsibility for their actions Castano-Perez and Brown have spared some of the victims the trauma of having to re-live the events of that night in court, and have shown remorse for their actions.


“This kind of irresponsible behaviour always puts lives at risk and it was incredible that no one was killed as a result of the events of that night.

"I hope this sentence sends a clear message to those that think it is acceptable to drive at speed/race and show off their motor vehicles in this way, the consequences of such irresponsible behaviour and that we will pursue the severest penalty.”


Chief Inspector for Stevenage, Simon Tabert, added: “Much work has been done in conjunction with Stevenage Borough Council to make sure this horrific event will never be repeated.

"The council now have an injunction in place that will provide police with powers to prevent the kind of activity that caused the accident and we are working with them to enforce this legislation.” 

Chief Superintendent Richard Liversidge commented: ‘’On behalf of local communities I would like to commend the responding emergency services.

Our police officers worked together with East of England Ambulance Service and Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service in the life-saving response at the scene on the night.

I also recognise the efforts of the members of the community who helped in the aftermath of the collision. 


“The skill and determination of our police investigators who brought this case to court is also recognised.
“The outcome of this case is highly relevant, as we continue to see irresponsible and anti-social use of vehicles.

"The injuries sustained in this case highlight the dangers involved in taking part in or watching such gatherings and Hertfordshire Constabulary continue to deploy resources to prevent this type of behaviour, but I continue to ask for the support of local communities in this effort. ‘’
 

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