Coach driver appears in court over collisions

A COACH driver who collided with several cars whilst driving over the limit has pleaded not guilty to two motoring offences.

Paul Shields, of Pratt Close, Mansfield, appeared in Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Monday, charged with driving whilst over the legal limit for alcohol, driving without due care and attention and failing to ensure a tachograph was installed.

On June 18 last year, his MAN coach hit a Nissan Micra, VW Eos, Vauxhall Astra, Nissan Almera, Ford Focus, Vauxhall Corsa, a Mercedes and a Saab in Downview Road, Worthing, on June 18 last year.

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No-one was in the cars at the time and Shields was treated in Worthing Hospital for minor injuries.

On Monday, the court heard the 47-year-old had parked the coach on the seafront when he returned to retrieve a passenger’s bag which had been left behind.

Barry Cheeseman, defending, said his client had been drinking and had not intended to drive, but upon seeing a parking ticket considered removing the coach to be a “necessity”.

Mr Cheeseman said: “A passenger advised him she left behind her bag. He found a parking ticket and believed his only course of action was to re-park the coach. He’s driven around and that’s taken him to Downview Road.

Manoeuvring was made difficult because of cars parked near the junction.

“He backed in the coach and clipped the car, and as he continued down the road he collides with other cars. He’s done an S-shaped manoeuvre.”

Shields pleaded guilty to driving whilst over the limit for alcohol, but not guilty to driving without due care and attention and failing to ensure a tachograph was installed.

He was bailed and will next appear at Worthing Magistrates’ Court for trial on June 7.