A SERVING soldier has been spared a community work order for dangerous driving because he is on 24-hour standby for deployment.
Corey Pearce admitted crossing a double white line in his Renault Megane and hitting the front of a Peugeot that had indicated and was turning right off the A4103 at Stoke Edith, near Bromyard.
Pearce drove off but the driver of another car, who witnessed the crash, followed him and caught up with him to get the registration number, Paul Whitfield, prosecuting, told Worcester Crown Court on Monday.
The retired couple in the Peugeot were unhurt in the incident but the front of their car was damaged in the incident on March 8 last year.
The 24-year-old father-of-three admitted dangerous driving. He said the car in front of him had been moving slowly and he went to overtake because he did not see the indicator, Mr Whitfield said.
Lee Masters, defending, said Pearce had not had the chance to stop but had later returned to the scene. He said Pearce, whose address was not revealed but who is from outside the Hereford-Worcester area, was on a current deployment which required him to be on 24-hour standby and so was unavailable to carry out any community order.
Judge Christopher Plunkett said Pearce had crossed double white lines which were there to protect drivers turning right.
"This could have been a great deal worse. People could have been injured," he said.
He said the sentence would normally have involved a community order but as Pearce was already doing valuable service and is of previous good character, he was prepared to deal with it by way of a financial penalty.
Pearce was fined £500 and ordered to pay £150 costs. He was also banned from driving for 12 months and will have to take an extended re-test.