Technician ran away from scene and asked customer to claim he was driving
A mechanic who had been banned from driving has crashed a customer’s Audi S3 at “high speed” while on a test drive, Nottingham Magistrates Court has heard.
Michal Romanowski was driving the car in Nottingham with the customer in the passenger seat when he crashed into a Renault Clio, and rolled into a wall on November 2, 2020.
He shouted, “Get out of the car,” and his customer, assuming the car was on fire, got out, said prosecutor Sanjay Jerath.
Romanowski told him: “Tell them you were driving the car,” before he ran back to the garage.
The court heard he has one previous conviction for two counts of driving with excess alcohol and driving without a licence, from July 27, last year.
He received a suspended sentence and is banned from driving until July 2023.
James Buckley, mitigating, said Romanowski “runs a substantial risk of getting a custodial sentence.”
But he argued the order he received last July was “setting him up to fail.”
He added: “The sentence he got didn’t address issues raised in the probation report like his alcohol consumption.
“He had started that day as a mechanic. A lot of repairs these days use laptops for diagnostic work.
“He took the job hoping to stay entirely within the garage environment.
“He was put under pressure by his boss to do it.
“Nobody was injured. He would have to accept he knew there was an accident and left the scene. He pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.”
Romanowski, 32, admitted driving while disqualified, failing to stop after an accident, driving without insurance, and driving without due care and attention, when he appeared in court on May 28.
Magistrates imposed an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with 15 rehabilitation days to “address his issues.”
He was fined £230, with a £128 surcharge and £85 costs. He was also banned for 42 months.
“You’ve been very lucky on this occasion,” he was told. “Please take this opportunity to get yourself sorted.”