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Crushed Brixham landlord: "Drink driver sentence not enough"

By Herald Express  |  Posted: July 13, 2012

  • INJURED: Kevin O'Neill and partner Angie Sanders from Three Elms Pub, Brixham. Below, the wall destroyed in the crash Andy Styles TQAS20120307A-001_X


A LANDLORD who was crushed when a drink driver smashed into his pub says the jail sentence handed down to the culprit is not long enough.

Kevin O'Neill, 53, suffered fractures to his pelvis, back and ribs and needed plastic surgery after Leigh Brennan drove into the Three Elms in Brixham.

The landlord was standing outside his pub in Drew Street when Brennan hit the porch.

The 45-year-old, formerly of Brixham, but now of Heather Close, Seaton, was given 12 months in jail by a judge at Exeter Crown Court after admitting dangerous driving on March 4.

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But Mr O'Neill said: "He could be out for Christmas and I almost died outside.

"I'm disappointed. The police do their job and bring him to justice but the court seems not to do its job.

"I'm still on crutches and probably will be when he gets out."

Brennan was dealt with twice for the incident.

In April he was given a community order and banned for driving for 18 months after admitting failing to provide a specimen.

At that time police were still investigating the more serious charge of dangerous driving for which he has now been sentenced.

Mr O'Neill said: "I was outside the pub putting a cigarette out and I saw him coming but couldn't get out of the way.

"He hit the porch of the pub."

He suffered a fractured pelvis, three broken vertebrae and two broken ribs.

He endured three operations, including one for plastic surgery to his leg and was released on April 13.

Mr O' Neill says that he is still unable to work and is unable to carry out his physiotherapy work due to a hernia. His partner Angie Sanders has had to bear the workload at the pub.

"I can't work because I can't stand up for long enough. It has had a big impact on me but Angie has been working 24/7 and she is practically worn out," he said.

"We have had friends who have helped out and they have been a godsend.

"But you just get on with it and hopefully now we can move on because it is all in the past."

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