Driver who rolled nine-tonne tractor and fled scene was ‘lucky to be alive’

High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.
High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.

A man from Chelmorton crashed a nine-tonne tractor he had taken without consent, causing £37,000 worth of damage to the vehicle.

When police arrived at Grin Low Road in Buxton, just after 11.30pm on September 13, Kieran John Garlick, 21, had already left the scene, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard.

The tractor had rolled onto its roof and side, and only a tree had stopped it ending up down a steep bank.

John Cooper, prosecuting, said officers saw the John Deere tractor and about six people around it.

“The witnesses stated to officers that a male had run from the tractor following the accident,” he said.

“One of them identified the male who had left the scene as this defendant.”

Police could see a number of empty Stella Artois lager cans in the cab and a large amount of blood.

Mr Cooper said: “The officer said the driver was very lucky not to have serious injuries or die as a result of the collision.”

The tractor’s owner had to hire another vehicle and was unable to work for several days, leaving him out of pocket to the tune of £7,500, the court was told. The insurance company also had to pay out £37,000.

Mr Cooper said it appeared the defendant had been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the offence.

Garlick, of Shenholm, Chelmorton, admitted a total of five charges: taking a vehicle without consent, driving without due care and attention, having no insurance, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident.

Kirsten Collings, defending, said Garlick, who was of previous good character, made his living as a tractor driver.

“He was working for this family at the time of the incident,” she said.

“It is not quite so simple as taking a tractor. He had permission to take the tractor on numerous occasions; the guilty plea reflects that he wouldn’t have had permission to drive it. It is not the case of somebody walking past and taking it.”

The court was told that as a result of the proceedings, Garlick had lost his job.

Magistrates decided that due to the values presented in the case, sentencing should be adjourned to Derby Crown Court on April 4.

An interim driving ban was also imposed.