A LAKES university student who crashed a car containing seven passengers – including one in the boot – has been sentenced and banned from driving.
Ryan McSepheny, 30, agreed to drive the Renault Clio after an eight-strong group left the Wheelhouse nightclub, Bowness-on-Windermere, during a night out in November, 2018.
Two women perched on other students’ knees while the Clio’s owner had squeezed herself into the boot as all returned to their University of Cumbria accommodation in Ambleside using the A591.
Passengers “screamed” and pleaded with McSepheny as he drove too fast for the layout of the winding Lakeland road, Carlisle Crown Court was told.
Some were “thrown around” as corners were taken “harshly”, McSepheny, of Sheffield Street, Carlisle, travelling “inappropriately” before colliding with a stone wall near the Low Wood Bay hotel.
One woman suffered a shoulder cut which needed stitches. Other injuries were limited to whiplash, grazing and bruising, and the Clio was written off.
McSepheny was said to have shown genuine remorse and taken full responsibility for an offence which led to him leaving university due to the mental anguish he’d experienced. His barrister, Sarah Magill, described the incident as a “salutary wake-up call”.
A nine-month jail term was suspended for two years. McSepheny must complete 125 hours’ unpaid work, a year’s driving ban and re-test.
Judge Peter Davies told him: “You could easily have ended up with one or more people dying, and you would be getting a double-figure prison sentence.”