‘Arrogant’ property tycoon who showed up in supercar two hours late for trial over drug-drive smash is jailed

‘Arrogant’ property tycoon who showed up in supercar two hours late for trial over drug-drive smash is jailed

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A WEALTHY property tycoon branded “arrogant” after showing up to court in a supercar two hours late for his drug-drive trial has been jailed.

Martin Skinner, 40, smashed into a tree in his high-powered 190mph Porsche after taking cocaine on the evening of August 24 last year.

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Martin Skinner, 40, showed up to work in his flashy McLaren supercar to court two hours late – before being jailed for more than two years[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

Skinner smashed his 190mph Porsche into a tree in West Sussex last year – leaving his passenger with serious brain injuries[/caption]

He hit the tree with such force that the engine came out of the car – and the crash left his 30-year-old female passenger with brain injuries.

Skinner persuaded the woman to get in the £140,000 Porsche 911 GT3 and guide him to a local shop.

But she begged him to slow down as he began driving at speed on the A281 in the village of Rudgwick near Horsham, West Sussex.

Skinner, of Belgravia in Central London, ignored her and ended up crashing into the tree after losing control going round a bend.

BRAIN INJURIES

The woman, from London, was airlifted to King’s College Hospital in Camberwell, South London, where she was put in an induced coma.

Skinner tested positive for cocaine on a roadside drugs test before he was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

He refused to provide a further sample there.

Earlier in the day, Skinner had tried to arrange a “supercar road trip” to France with pals, but they said no.

So he then chose to “go rallying” to a business acquaintance’s home in Rudgwick before he took the woman out.

BLAMED ROAD SURFACE

Skinner initially pleaded not guilty to careless driving and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

He had claimed the crash was “caused by a defective road surface”.

And he said he failed to provide a specimen “because he was not fit enough to give his consent at that time”.

Skinner made the claim despite just two recorded crashes on the road in 10 years.

‘ALARM DIDN’T GO OFF’

He then failed to turn up to his trial at Worthing Magistrates Court on August 21, and a judge proceeded with the hearing in his absence.

But Skinner turned up two hours later in a flashy McLaren sports car and told the court his alarm clock had not woken him up in time.

He was further charged with a separate offence of failing to surrender to bail.

And after legal advice, Skinner changed his pleas to guilty.

‘ARROGANT SHOW-OFF’

He was branded “arrogant” by the judge, who said he had been “showing off” in front of the passenger.

Skinner was jailed for 22 months and disqualified from driving until May 2022.

He was also ordered to pay fines and court costs totalling £1,815.

Investigating officer Tony Crisp, of Sussex Police, said: “While Skinner did not set out to cause an accident that day, he had clearly set out to drive around the countryside in a high-powered car, at high speed, and under the influence of cocaine, resulting in a crash that caused the victim in this case to sustain a life-changing injury.


“He sought to prevent the police from taking a blood sample to establish how much cocaine he had in his system and until the very last moment refused to accept responsibility for his actions.

“Cocaine is a Class A drug, and can have the effect of impairing a person’s ability to drive safely.

“Surrey Police and Sussex Police are committed to both educating drivers not to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and to catching and convicting those who intentionally put other road users’ lives at risk by doing so.”

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A judge branded Skinner ‘arrogant’ as he jailed him for 22 months for careless driving and failing to provide a sample[/caption]


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