A teenager who admitted driving “like a maniac” when he injured two riders and caused the death of their horses has walked free from court.

Shane Dines was told by a judge at Maidstone Crown Court on 23 July that his nine months’ youth custody would be suspended because of his young age and guilty plea.

The crash happened as Diane Hogben and Tammy Coles were riding their horses Benson and Charlie in Ninn Lane on 6 February 2010.

Dines, 19, of Harper Road, Ashford, shot over a hill at between 50-60mph in his Renault Megane RT Sport and ploughed into the horses.

Miss Hogben suffered a fractured vertebra and had to have two rods inserted into her spine. She was in hospital for three weeks following the crash.

Miss Coles suffered cuts and bruises.

Dines admitted dangerous driving, the maximum sentence for which is two years’ custody. He was also ordered to do 200hr unpaid work and banned from driving for three years.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (4 August, 2011)