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Builder who caused head-on crash has driving ban cut

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A Chesterfield builder whose dangerous driving led to a horrific head-on smash has had his motoring ban cut by senior judges.

Mark Heeley, of Compass Crescent, caused a pile-up in the Peak District that left four people, including himself, injured.

The 33-year-old was locked up for two years at Derby Crown Court on June 28 after he admitted two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Heeley was also banned from driving for five years.

He was driving a Ford Transit van on the A623 near Tideswell in March when disaster struck.

He chose to overtake on double solid white lines while driving through bends and up a hill on a stretch of road known as the ‘Manchester bends’.

Heeley eventually collided with a Nissan coming in the opposite direction.

Geoff Knowles had to be cut from the Nissan and spent seven weeks in hospital.

His injuries included a fractured thigh, pelvis and left foot and he had to have metal plates inserted.

He also suffered head trauma, resulting in some permanent memory loss, and nerve damage to his voice box and tongue.

Chloe Bolderson and her four-month-old son were travelling in a Fiat, which was also caught up in the crash.

The mum ‘thought they were both going to be killed’, said Judge Rupert Mayo, at London’s Court of Appeal.

Heeley broke both his legs, while his passenger and co-worker, Ben West, suffered serious injuries and required a number of operations.

Lawyers for Heeley argued his driving ban was too long and should be cut as he needed to able to drive a van in order to make a living as a self-employed builder, they said.

They pointed to him being a ‘family man’, having a previous ‘exemplary’ driving record and no previous convictions.

“We are persuaded that the length of disqualification here was disproportionate to the period in custody and the seriousness of the offence,” said Judge Mayo, reducing Heeley’s driving ban to three years.