Drugged driver jailed after crash near East Grinstead


A drugged driver who smashed head on into another motorist on the wrong side of the road near East Grinstead has been jailed for eight months.

A police statement says that Darren Penney, 47, was seen weaving through traffic on the A22 from East Grinstead to Forest Row and driving his Ford Fiesta at up to 60mph in a 30mph zone towards oncoming traffic before he crashed into a Skoda Fabia.

After he was arrested at 9.50am on December 23, tests revealed he had traces of cocaine, morphine, cannabis, diazepam and fluoxetine in his bloodstream.

Penney, of Bermuda Place, Eastbourne, pleaded guilty to driving while unfit through drugs and dangerous driving. He was jailed for eight months, banned from driving for two years and ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge.

Superintendent Jane Derrick said: “Penney is the worst kind of menace on the roads - one who takes drink and drugs and then puts other drivers at risk by speeding and driving dangerously.

“Penney and the three people in the Skoda escaped with bruises but this could have been far worse.

“There is no excuse for getting behind the wheel after taking drugs and we will not tolerate it.

“The sentence handed down to Penney shows how seriously the court also takes such cases, which will hopefully act as a deterrent to anyone else that might be thinking about mixing drugs and driving.”