'You could have left an orphan': Drink driver jailed after woman lost leg in horror smash near Market Drayton

A mother who lost her leg told a drink driver how he has ruined her life as he was jailed.

Leanne Ghisletta and her husband were involved in a horror smash on the A53 at Tern Hill, near Market Drayton, on July 15 last year, caused by the recklessness of Shaun Gilbert, who had drunk five pints of beer before getting behind the wheel.

The Ghislettas' Land Rover Discovery overturned after Gilbert's Citroen C3 crossed into the wrong lane, and Mrs Ghisletta's leg became trapped between the car and the road.

After seeing her injuries, Mrs Ghisletta's husband realised he had to stem the flow of blood, and thanks to his quick actions of tying a belt around her leg, her life was saved.

But, speaking bravely at Gilbert's sentencing at Shrewsbury Crown Court, she said how sometimes she "wishes he hadn't" done what he did to save her.

She said: "At the time of the crash, I was a confident, strong wife and mother with a good career. I was sociable and outgoing. I walked with my baby and family to nursery. This has cruelly taken these things away from me.

"My daughter came to see me at hospital. Can you imagine the grief across her face? She was 14 months old when you crashed into me and my husband. You could have left an orphan.

"I never saw my home again because it wasn't suitable for my disability. I lost my home as well as my leg. My husband had to take six months off and has never returned to his job. It wasn't just my life you ruined. My husband is on his knees with exhaustion."

Witnesses

The court heard that witnesses described Gilbert as "stinking of drink", and observed him swerving as he drove on the fateful evening at around 9pm.

She added: "My brothers' hearts have been broken. My nieces and nephews are petrified of car journeys.

"The ramifications of that evening were enormous. The crash has left me feeling vulnerable and scared to face the rest of my life. Do you know what it is like to see your daughter fall and not be able to be the one to rush over to her?

"My husband has to dress me and wash my hair. My husband is now my carer. I started that day as an independent person, but ended it dependent on others.

"If you ever wondered how we are coping, we are not. I feel like a shell of what I used to be. Imagine waking up in intensive care and finding out you've lost 80 per cent of your leg.

"I would have died had it not been for the quick thinking actions of my husband. Sometimes I wished he hadn't."

Gilbert, 29, of Betton Crossing in Market Drayton, pleaded guilty to causing injury by dangerous driving. There was no drink driving charge, but he accepted that he was shown on CCTV at the town's Castle Inn, drinking five pints before getting behind the wheel.

Adrian Roberts, defending, said that Gilbert, an agricultural buildings worker, said: "It was a terrible decision for him to drive that day.

Judge Peter Barrie jailed Gilbert for two years and four months and disqualified him from driving for three years.

He told Gilbert: "You could so easily have called a cab. She still faces a long road to recovery."

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