'Distracted' Muswell Hill delivery driver off the roads after bollard crash
- Credit: Beth Rose
A Muswell Hill man has been banned from the wheel for two months and ordered to pay £477 after being convicted of driving offences.
Gabriel Reuben Blake, 20, from Cranley Gardens, pleaded guilty at Stratford Magistrates’ Court on Monday (May 25) to driving without due care and attention, and using a vehicle without third-party insurance.
The court heard that Blake, a delivery driver for Greens of Highgate, became "distracted” by friends when driving his grandfather’s car into a bollard at the junction of Grand Avenue and Muswell Hill Road at around 10.50pm on September 10.
No injuries were reported and the Metropolitan Police released a statement after the crash saying “the car occupants had left the scene before they arrived”.
The 20-year-old is the son of Haringey Council’s cabinet member for communities, Cllr Mark Blake (Lab, Woodside), whose responsibilities include community safety and police engagement. A new cabinet will be appointed on Thursday (May 27).
Defence barrister Dominic Bardill said: “Mr (Gabriel) Blake absolutely does not make any excuses for what has happened.
“He has repeated to me that he is ashamed... and that he has done something really stupid.”
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Mr Bardill added: “Friends were making a lot of noise and he accepted that he did become distracted, and he accepted that he crashed into the bollard.”
The defence barrister said that “on the face of it” the incident made Blake appear a “boy racer”, but that he was instead “reliable and professional” – and a “very hard-working individual trying to build a future for himself”.
Blake was described by his lawyer as an inexperienced driver who worked a second job as a football coach and referee for Soccer Revolution, based in Enfield and Muswell Hill.
In a written statement, the company’s owner Stelios Ekkeshis said: "I am hoping that you will agree that this was a huge mistake and one that will not be repeated.”
The court heard Blake was relied upon to drive a relative to hospital, where they have been receiving treatment.
Sentencing Blake, magistrate Caroline Dillon said: “We have heard quite a lot about you and we have also heard that you are sorry for what happened.
“We have heard that you have apologised to the court and hopefully to your family.”
The £477 Blake was ordered to pay includes a fine, court costs and a fee for the prosecution.