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Ben Hanlan from Leeds given driving ban after collision near Beaulieu Road which left New Forest foal with two broken legs

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A MOTORIST visiting the New Forest was banned from the roads for six months after leaving a foal with two broken legs in a crash.

Ben Hanlan (22), of East Grange Drive in Leeds, pleaded guilty to failing to report an accident following the collision near Beaulieu Road some time after midnight on Friday 27th August 2021.

He fled the scene in his Volkswagen Polo without alerting local agisters or the police.

Ben Hanlan appeared at Leeds Magistrates' Court (Photo: Google)
Ben Hanlan appeared at Leeds Magistrates' Court (Photo: Google)

The pony was thought to have wandered for several hours on its broken legs before it was put down the next day by a local agister.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard Hanlan believed he had hit a deer but did not stop to confirm this or check whether he had seriously injured or killed an animal.

PC Matt Thelwell, wildlife and rural crime officer, welcomed the outcome for highlighting the importance of driving safely on the Forest’s roads, and showing no one is above the law.

“Sadly, this is an incident which was wholly avoidable, but resulted in a foal having to be euthanised due to the severity of its injuries,” he said.

Hanlan hit the pony just after midnight (stock picture: Robert Sach/New Forest NPA)
Hanlan hit the pony just after midnight (stock picture: Robert Sach/New Forest NPA)

“The driver is lucky that in this situation, he did not suffer serious injuries himself, or worse, but that could have been a real possibility in a different scenario.

“Driving above the speed limit, especially during hours of darkness, can have devastating consequences.”

PC Thelwell stressed a number of high-profile New Forest animal deaths in collisions over the last 18 months could have been avoided if motorists obeyed the speed limit or drove appropriately for the conditions.

He added: “Failure to report a road traffic incident or accident is a criminal offence, and this shows that we will always seek to identify those responsible and put them in front of the courts so that justice can be served.”

He vowed officers would continue to work with key partners including New Forest National Park Authority, Forestry England and the Commoners' Defence Association to raise awareness of local livestock killed in collisions.

As well as the disqualification, the Bench ordered Hanlan to pay £85 in court charges.

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