EARL Cardigan has pledged to appeal after a court found him guilty in his absence of damaging a nurse’s car at Savernake Hospital, Marlborough.

Just hours before the case was due to be heard at Salisbury Magistrates the Earl had laid for hours under his heavy motorbike after coming off the machine in Savernake Forest.

Earl Cardigan, David Brudenell-Bruce, 66, of Savernake Lodge, Savernake Forest, is furious as he believes that even without the accident the case should not have gone ahead.

He said this week that he had been told by the Crown Prosecution Service it would be adjourned as he had objected to one of the witnesses not being available to give evidence in person.

He said: “I received a letter and as the court case was only a couple of days away I replied by email. Then I rang to make sure they had got it and was told everything was fine and I would be told in due course when it would be going ahead.”

On the night before the case had been scheduled to be heard last Wednesday he went to watch West Ham play football at a pub in Marlborough.

On his way back a deer with a calf ran across a forest track and he lost control of his 1200cc machine.

He said: “I was pinned under the bike. I managed to get my phone and rang 999. I spoke to the ambulance control but I waited and waited and no-one turned up.

“Then a police car arrived and they managed to lift the bike off of me. Eventually an ambulance turned up and they for some reason cut all my clothes off of me and did some tests.

“They then took me to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon where I was on a trolley for hours and then it was decided they would take me home and I was told to rest for the rest of the day.”

He was shocked to find out the next day the case had gone ahead and he had been found guilty of careless driving, driving without insurance and failing to report an accident.

He was fined £2,126 and had six penalty points put on his licence.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “We were called by the ambulance service at 11.50pm on August 27 reporting a male had reported that he had fallen from his bike near Savernake Forest.

“We located him on Ashlade Firs Road. No injuries sustained. He was taken to hospital by ambulance as a precaution.”

A spokesman for South Western Ambulance Service said: “Our crews treated a male patient at the scene, and transported him to hospital for further care.”

Earl Cardigan said he had been at the hospital on the day of the accident with his wife and daughter but he had no memory of a crash.

He said he had failed to turn up at an earlier hearing as he had not received a summons. He said: “Police came to my house and arrested me but when I got to the court I explained to the magistrates that I had not had any notification and they accepted what I said.

“I still haven’t had all the paperwork.”

A spokesman for the CPS said: “