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Barmaid, 21, high on cocaine who left her friend in a coma after crashing on way home is jailed


Barmaid, 21, high on cocaine who left her friend in a coma after crashing on way home from an all-night party while 12 TIMES the drug-drive limit is jailed for 11 months

  • Larisa Jones, 21, has been jailed for crashing her car while high on cocaine 
  • Barmaid was 12 times over the drug-drive limit after August house party
  • She then smashed her car into a Citroen and lamppost, injuring her friend

A barmaid high on cocaine who left her friend in a coma after crashing on the way home from an all-night party while 12 times the drug-drive limit has been jailed.

Larisa Jones, 21, took two friends in her car after leaving the house party at around 9am on August 21 last year.

Driving at 67mph in a 30mph zone, her Renault Twingo crashed into another car, somersaulted and then smashed into a lamppost – badly injuring her friend Billy Wathan.

Jones, of Ynysmeudwy in Swansea, has now been sentenced for 22 months in prison after admitting a string of offences, but was told that she would serve half of that time in custody.

Drug-driver Larisa Jones, who left her friend in a coma after a horror car crash

Drug-driver Larisa Jones, who left her friend in a coma after a horror car crash

Driving at 67mph in a 30mph zone, her Renault Twingo crashed into another car, somersaulted and then smashed into a lamppost - badly injuring her friend Billy Wathan

Driving at 67mph in a 30mph zone, her Renault Twingo crashed into another car, somersaulted and then smashed into a lamppost – badly injuring her friend Billy Wathan 

Prosecutor Dean Pulling said Jones had been working at the Castle Hotel in Pontardawe, near Swansea, before taking cocaine at the house party. 

She then drove over the speed limit, smashed her car into a Citroen, somersaulting through the air and then hitting a lamppost.

Mr Wathan, who had not been wearing a seatbelt, suffered facial injuries, a bleed to his brain, broken hips and a collapsed lung. He was forced to use a wheelchair when he returned home and lost his job after experiencing seizures.

Despite that, Mr Wathan told a judge at Cardiff Crown Court that he did not want Jones to go to jail.

In a victim impact statement, he said: ‘I don’t blame [Jones] for the collision. It was an accident, it wasn’t intentional. I want her to know I don’t want her to go to prison.’

Jones was found with 85mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood – the legal limit is 80mg. She was also found to have 630mg of a cocaine metabolite in her blood, making her 12-and-a-half times over the legal limit.

Pictured, Billy Wathan, who was badly injured in the horror smash

Pictured, Billy Wathan, who was badly injured in the horror smash

Jones, of Ynysmeudwy in Swansea, has now been jailed for 22 months after admitting a string of offences, but was told that she would serve half of that time in custody

Jones, of Ynysmeudwy in Swansea, has now been jailed for 22 months after admitting a string of offences, but was told that she would serve half of that time in custody

Judge Huw Rees said: ‘I am sure you know they could have been catastrophic. You were totally unfit to drive and you drove illegally and when significantly impaired through drink and drugs.

‘Billy Wathan was treated as an intensive care patient for two weeks in hospital during which he contracted Covid.

‘You know the ills of mixing with people who drink too much and take Class A drugs.’

Mitigating, Giles Hayes said Jones used to work as a carer, but was dismissed because of her ‘chaotic lifestyle’.

He added: ‘She is well aware of the nature and seriousness of these offences. She showed a grave error of judgement that will not be repeated.’

Jones was told she would serve half of that in custody before being eligible for release on licence. She was also disqualified from driving for four years and 11 months.

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