A former Royal Navy officer was “very lucky” to have not killed a pedestrian after getting behind the wheel whilst suffering from PTSD.
Michael Jordan, 50, has no memory of the events of May 24 last year where he clipped the back of a van and came close to hitting a number of people with his Honda Civic.
He drove along Hessle Road mounting the kerbs and at one point came within seven feet from hitting a dad and his 11-year-old daughter.
Jordan was first spotted at around lunchtime driving towards the roundabout near Sainsbury’s in Hessle when he clipped into the back of a van parked on the roadside.
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“The complainant had got out and just stepped on to the pavement when a grey Honda Civic clipped the rear of his van and caused it to rock forwards,” said prosecuting barrister Nigel Clive at Hull Crown Court.
“The defendant didn’t break or change his speed before or after the collision and carried on towards Hessle Square.”
The van driver jumped into his vehicle and went after Jordan to confront him before coming to a stop at the Boots store in The Square.
He told Jordan about the accident but he replied that there was no room for him to get passed.
Mr Clive said: “The complainant noted that his speech was slurred, he appeared to be dazed and there was a spill on his top.
“The defendant got back in his car and back the way he came travelling very close to the kerb. At the first mini roundabout in Buttfield Road he mounted the kerb travelling close to vehicles in front.”
The van driver continued to follow Jordan noting his every move, watching him drive too close to the kerb before braking too late at another mini roundabout along Hull Road.
Jordan went straight over it and drove along Hessle Road where he continued to mount the kerbside before a near miss involving two youths.
“They were walking along and had to jump out of the way,” said Mr Clive. “The defendant carried along Hessle Road where there was a near collision with a cyclist.
“The complainant was surprised that there was no collision and watched the defendant travel too close to a bus.”
Jordan parked up outside the One Stop near Huntington Street where he was seen coming out of the shop with a bottle of champagne.
He noticed his wing mirror was hanging off following the collision with the van and made attempts to reattach it before travelling back down Hessle Road.
“A man walking with his 11-year-old daughter saw the Honda go past him and drive through a pedestrian crossing at speed,” said Mr Clive.
They then heard a loud screeching noise and saw the brake lights on Jordan’s car light up at the junction for Summergroves Way.
Jordan lost control of the car and ended up on the wrong side of the road before bouncing off the kerb, coming to a stop 15 feet away from a woman and her child.
He then came off the pavement and drove down Summergroves Way at speed before doing a three point turn and coming back along Hessle High Road.
The man and his daughter spotted Jordan and his Honda Civic again and watched the two passenger side wheels of his car mount the pavement driving towards them.
Jordan was as close as seven feet away from the father and daughter before managing to get all four wheels back onto the road and driving on.
Police attended Jordan’s home in Santolina Way where they found the damaged Honda Civic and could smell alcohol when he answered the door.
“However,” said Mr Clive, “the defendant was tested for drink and drugs and as far as those tests are concerned he passed. He did however fail the field impairment test.”
Officers found the champagne bottle bought from the One Stop and noticed it was around half full.
Jordan told officers he drunk half of the bottle when he came home and had not consumed any alcohol before driving.
A psychiatric report concluded that Jordan was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by 25 years of military service which ended in 2012.
Jordan also left his wife in 2017 and Judge Mark Bury noted that it was “no coincidence” that he had been brought before the courts a year later for drink driving where he was disqualified for 113 days.
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Judge Bury said: “You have had an exemplary career in the armed services, particularly the Royal Navy. I have read a number of references about you explaining how well regarded you were in that capacity.
“You left for civilian life after 25 years in 2012. Things have not gone quite as well for you since then.
“You have suffered with your mental health which is clearly down to PTSD. You made a poor decision to leave your wife which has also affected your mental health.
“It is quite obvious from those who know you well, at the time of this incident and indeed in the two to three years previously, will say you have been suffering badly with your mental health.
“You left your wife in 2017 and it is no coincidence you were brought before the magistrates’ court for drink driving in 2018 and you were disqualified.”
Due to his poor state of mental health Jordan says that he has no memory of what happened on that day.
Addressing him in the dock, Judge Bury reminded him that he was “very lucky” to have not injured or killed someone.
“Your mistake was driving in the first place,” said Judge Bury. “There is no way you should have been driving in your mental capacity and the way you behaved behind the wheel was quite dangerous.
“You are lucky that the only damage that was done was to the van and indeed your own car.
“You didn’t kill or injure anyone but you were close to doing that on more than occasion. You were very lucky that nothing drastically serious happened.
“Had your mental health not been as it was at the time and had you been drinking you will have been going to prison. There’s no doubt about that.”
Jordan was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 18 months for dangerous driving and has been disqualified for two years. He must also pay £250 compensation to the van driver.
“You have been through some terrible times in your life,” Judge Bury added. “I hope you’re coming out of the other side now.”