Soap star leaves father in wheelchair

A Hollyoaks actor whose driving left a father of three confined to a wheelchair was fined just £1,000 yesterday.

David Brown, who played disabled accident victim Adam Morgan in the Channel 4 soap, lost control of his

powerful Mercedes convertible as he overtook in the wet on a tight bend at 80mph.

He was still doing 67mph when his CLK320 slammed sideways into a Mazda driven by Alan Rowlands on the A50 near Knutsford, Cheshire, in August of last year.

Mr Rowlands fractured his skull and broke both ankles, both arms, his jaw, a collarbone and a thigh and spent weeks in hospital.

He remains in severe pain and may never walk again.

"This crash ruined my life at a stroke," said the 45-year- old former computer analyst after the case.

"I held a responsible job which has been taken away from me and I'm left in constant agony and in a

trance-like state most of the time on morphine."

He said: "I can remember the crash clearly.

"I was driving steadily along at 40mph and I remember seeing a Mercedes badge coming towards me at great speed.

"He had to brake suddenly and I saw that his wheel had completely locked and was out of control.

"The next thing I can remember was that I was screaming really loudly.

"I couldn't move my arm and when I looked down at my legs, my toes were pointing up at me and my ankles were facing completely the wrong way.

"It is not fair that he avoided a ban. I don't think eight points will teach him to drive more responsibly. It is not justice that he is able to drive and I am unable to walk."

Prosecutor Caroline Harris told the court Brown had overtaken a Renault Laguna on a sharp bend at an estimated speed of 80mph, and lost control as he braked.

He first hit a Vauxhall Corsa then spun into the path of the oncoming Mazda.

"The collision with the Mazda flipped the Mercedes onto its side before it came to a grinding halt in a nearby hedge," she said.

"Police experts have calculated the speed of the impact with the Mazda at 67mph.

"The speed limit at that stretch of road is 60mph."

Brown, 26, of Knutsford, denied careless driving, and blamed the crash on oil residue on the road surface, but was convicted by magistrates at Northwich.

"It was like driving on ice," he said.

"The car just slid. I was just starting to regain control when I saw the oncoming cars."

The actor could have been fined £2,500 and been banned from driving, but was ordered to pay less than half the maximum with £400 costs and had eight penalty points put on his licence.

Mr Rowlands, from Standish near Wigan, said he did not know how Brown "had the gall" to plead not guilty.

In a statement read by his wife Janet he said: "Before the criminal proceedings I had no personal animosity to Mr Brown - despite the mess he has made of my life.

"But his decision to plead not guilty and his apparent lack of remorse has made me extremely angry.

"His failure to acknowledge his guilt has added insult to my injuries."

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