Martock man jailed for 10 months

Clive Pearce, 50, of Martock, was handed down a 10 month sentence today, Tuesday 26 November. Pearce had been driving a 10-tonne Caterpillar Telehandler when he ran over 27-year-old Liam Earle in Kingsbury Episcopi on Sunday 20 January this year.

Mr Earle remains in hospital 10 months later with catastrophic neck, back and pelvic injuries. His consultant had never seen injuries so serious or complex in 20 years’ experience.

In court today Pearce admitted dismantling the vehicle’s braking system, leaving only the cable-operated handbrake as a means to stop. He also admitted driving the vehicle on the road knowing it was uninsured.

As well as the 10-month prison term, Pearce was banned from driving for two years and five months, must complete an extended retest and pay a £170 victim surcharge.

The court heard that he is well-respected in the community and was helping out a friend before Liam and a woman with him, both of whom had been drinking in the pub,  insisted on getting into the bucket.

Talking about the case which he had investigated, PC Daniel Cox explained Pearce took an unsafe vehicle out onto the road for a use for which it was not intended – working at height – as a favour to a friend. The farming community are uniquely entrusted to maintain their vehicles in a roadworthy condition without the requirement for an MOT, unlike other road users who must test their vehicles annually. Most people working in agriculture take their responsibilities seriously, but this should be a wake-up call for those who have little regard for safety, whether their own or others, on the farm or on the road.”


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