Crash horror driver jailed for attack on ex-girlfriend

Bolton Crown Court

Bolton Crown Court

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A DRIVER who crashed into a group of teenagers is back behind bars after attacking his ex-girlfriend.

Christopher Marr was jailed for dangerous driving after he left 14-year-old Devon Foster fighting for her life and injured her friends in the horror crash in August, 2010.

His 26-month sentence led to The Bolton News’ high profile Drive For Justice campaign, calling for longer sentences for dangerous drivers who seriously injure their victims.

Now the 25-year-old is back in jail after he launched a terrifying attack on his former girlfriend in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

Marr smashed his way into a women’s refuge flat in St Annes, slapped his ex- girlfriend around the face and tried to strangle her as she cowered in the toilet with their young son, Blackpool magistrates were told.

She was so frightened she pretended to pass out.

Marr, of Chorley New Road, Bolton, pleaded guilty to assault and using violence to enter a flat.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said the victim had been found the flat to live in as a refuge by a women’s aid organisation. On January 1, at 4am, the woman heard glass smashing and Marr walked into her bedroom with blood coming from his legs.

She talked to him for three hours. When he left the room, she retrieved a phone hidden under the mattress.

As she tried to call police, Marr came back in, took the phone and slapped her face.

She fled to the toilet with her young son, but Marr tried to strangle her. She faked passing out and he stopped.

Marr had previously been jailed for harassing his ex-girlfriend.

Imran Majid, defending, said Marr's ex-girlfriend had given him her new address and he had been there on a few occasions. Mr Majid added: “He accepts when he was thrown out by her, he smashed a window to gain entry.

“He went back because he wanted to spend time with his son. He accepts he went about it the wrong way. He lost his temper and went overboard.”

Marr was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison and given a two-year restraining order, which bans him from contacting his former girlfriend.

In 2010, at Bolton Crown Court, Judge Steven Everett called for the Government to increase the maximum sentence for dangerous driving after he could only jail Marr for 26 months.

Devon suffered horrific injuries and nearly died after the car Marr was driving went out of control, mounted the pavement in Darwen Road, Bromley Cross, and ploughed into the group of friends walking home from a party in the early hours of August 22. Her friends, George Coleman, aged 16, and Jacob Fear, aged 15, were also seriously injured.

The maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving has been increased to 14 years, but the maximum sentence for dangerous driving, no matter how severe the victim’s injuries, was just two years.

The Bolton News launched the Drive for Justice campaign after the sentencing and, in 2011, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke announced plans for a new criminal offence — causing serious injury by dangerous driving — to be added to the Government’s Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.

It will mean courts will be able to jail dangerous drivers who seriously injure their victims for up to five years.

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