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Medics are only now confident there has been no long term damage

A teenager has received an undisclosed, five-figure sum 14 years after being involved in a road rage hit-and-run. Emily Kirwin was just four years old when Carl Baxter stopped and reversed his Range Rover over her and her father Stephen while she was in a trailer on the back of his bike.

Stephen had raised his fist when Baxter passed within a few feet of them near South Newbald, East Yorkshire. The Telegraph reported that Baxter then reversed 200 yards into the bike, crushing the trailer.

Baxter gave himself up to police and was jailed for two years in 2003 after pleading guilty to two counts of inflicting grievous bodily harm, dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

Speaking outside Hull Crown Court at the time, he said: "I had never seen a trailer like that before. There was no sign to say a child was in it. I panicked. I would give anything for it not to have happened."

Speaking about the injuries she sustained, Emily said:

“In a way it was worse for my parents because they witnessed the accident, whereas I can only remember waking up in hospital. I’d been in a coma for six days. My jaw was broken – I’d lost most of my baby teeth – my nose was fractured and I couldn’t focus properly. I didn’t even have the strength to walk for weeks.

“There was a chance I could have developed epilepsy and I’ve had to have regular scans to check there was no long term damage. The regular trips to hospitals are just something I have had to get used to. My face is still slightly distorted, but fortunately for the most part I have made a good recovery.”

That recovery required years of treatment and it was only recently when she turned 18 that medics could say for sure there had been no long term damage. Emily has therefore now settled a civil case against the driver’s insurers.

As well the jail sentence, Baxter was also banned from driving for two years. Stephen, who sustained a badly fractured leg which took months to heal, said:

“Everyone thinks they have a right to drive, but a car is a potentially lethal weapon. He used his car as a weapon, but got it back after two years. Drivers need to be punished proportionately for their transgressions.

“We used to go out cycling together a lot as a family, but now the only time we can do that and feel safe is off road or abroad in countries like Holland where cycle lanes are separate from the cars.”

Richard Crabtree, from law firm Slater and Gordon, which represented the family, said:

“Emily suffered a significant brain injury and this case was about ensuring she was properly compensated for the long-term effects of this tragic accident and whatever care she might need in the future.

“Until recently we couldn’t be sure what those effects and care needs would be, but after such a horrendous ordeal we are delighted that she has now made a full recovery.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

21 comments

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Yorkshire wallet [1423 posts] 1 year ago
21 likes

2 years!!!!! 2 years!!!!!!

If he did that to my offspring I'd hunt him down like Liam Neeson! 

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kevvjj [253 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

Five figures? Really? That means a maximum of £99,999. Doesn't sound like anywhere near enough to me.

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wycombewheeler [1199 posts] 1 year ago
10 likes

"I didn't know there was a child in the trailer" implication it's OK to break thd leg of an adult cy list. Life driving ban.

Also I hope the insurance company cam recover the compensation from him. Insurance is supposed to be for accidents, not malice. Do you think your home insurance wold pay out if you threw the TV out of the window in a fit of pique? I can't see it myself, but drivers seem to be the chosen people in our society.

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sttuey [14 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

And yet again the great British legal system fucks up big time. 2 year ban for deliberately using your 2-ton vehicle as a weapon with intent? FFS that right should have been removed for life, no question.

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oldstrath [848 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

Apparently the arse driving the weapon "would give anything for it not to have happened." Bet he hasn't given up driving to ensure it never happens again.

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brooksby [2575 posts] 1 year ago
7 likes
oldstrath wrote:

Apparently the arse driving the weapon "would give anything for it not to have happened." Bet he hasn't given up driving to ensure it never happens again.

I agree. The message I took from this story is that his only regret is hurting the child, who was in this newfangled trailer that he'd never seen before. As far as I can see, the father on a completely normal bicycle caused the driver no regrets at all...

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Subotai [18 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes
Yorkshire wallet wrote:

2 years!!!!! 2 years!!!!!!

If he did that to my offspring I'd hunt him down like Liam Neeson! 

2 years in gaol for which he probably did half and 2 years ban, so he's been back on the road for a decade going about his business. In the mean time this young lady has spent a large portion of her youth undergoing medical treatment (the cost of which should be picked up by the offender) and then gets a paltry 5 figure sum! Words fail me.

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notfastenough [3727 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

His excuse doesn't work.  He says he's never seen a trailer like that before and panicked.  Ok, so if that's the reason for the close pass, is he claiming that the panic was sufficiently sustained for him to drive up the road, stop, reverse 200 yards and squash the adult?  (Assuming he didn't know a child was in the trailer).  Nonsense.

On the up-side, at least her uni fees are probably covered, or a house deposit.

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ct [198 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

I think the panic bit was because he then drove off...after driving over two other people leaving them with untold injuries.

Sounds like a nice sort...

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kitsunegari [287 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Another unsurprising verdict from the British legal system.

 

I'm glad that it looks like she's managed to get back on track after such a horrific accident.

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The ban is too short, the sentence too short. But there we are.

As to the damages, it's impossible to comment on whether the sum is paltry as we have no idea what her actual injuries were, how they recovered, whether there's any residual disability etc. It's a slam dunk case, paid for by insurance so my money would be on whatever award was negotiated being correct in law. You'd be surprised how little injuries are worth. The main body of this award will be past and future losses and expenses.

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thomasp [2 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

"Baxter, who has two previous convictions for attacking other motorists, then drove off, leaving Mr Kirwin and his distraught wife Maureen with their badly-injured child."

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/mar/21/martinwainwright

Some times the US "Three-strikes law" seems reasonable... (they are not, btw.)

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FatBoyW [235 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

It is truly scary how our society accepts the irresponsible use of motor vehicles. But it is what it is until our politicians fundamentally change the laws it will continue to be so. 

 

I wish the the police had been proportionate in their response to that 23 year old losing control on a corner yesterday. Surely he should have been questioned not arrested and the CPS asked to consider careless driving. What evidence have they of dangerous? Surely just because you have been scared and distracted by a police car with its lights on (being chased by) does not make you dangerous. Truly tragic that two people have died and 3 young girls seriously injured but in our society that is just bad luck and they should have jumped out of the way. The young man should get a suspended sentence, a year or so ban at most. After all he can argue he had no intention to his actions whereas from what this article states the Range Rover driver was quite deliberate.

 

why on earth was this man here not jailed for at least attempted manslaughter? 

Until the powers that be change the fundamentals of our traffic law I will always be reading with dismay the terrible events meted out by drivers with no effective justice and be worried for all our saftey

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
FatBoyW wrote:

 

 

why on earth was this man here not jailed for at least attempted manslaughter? 

 

 

Cos there's no such thing?

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

It's hard to generalise but, murder is for those cases where you wanted to kill someone or, at the very least, cause them really serious harm. Manslaughter is for those cases where you did not intend to do that, but something less and death ensues. Wiki is pretty good on this. You can attempt to murder someone, that's where what you do fails. You can't attempt to manslaughter someone as intent/outcome are broadly absent in relation to manslaughter as an offence. It's a bit more complicated but essentially that. Manslaughter is a lesser offence. 

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FluffyKittenofT... [1788 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
bendertherobot wrote:

It's hard to generalise but, murder is for those cases where you wanted to kill someone or, at the very least, cause them really serious harm. Manslaughter is for those cases where you did not intend to do that, but something less and death ensues. Wiki is pretty good on this. You can attempt to murder someone, that's where what you do fails. You can't attempt to manslaughter someone as intent/outcome are broadly absent in relation to manslaughter as an offence. It's a bit more complicated but essentially that. Manslaughter is a lesser offence. 

Agree that 'attempted manslaughter' is an incoherent concept, but I still find it odd that there's a special charge if you launch a violent attack on someone (with predictable concequences) with a weapon if the weapon happens to be a car.

Also, the excuse that 'I didn't know there was a child in the trailer' seems rediculous to me. It was an obvious possibility that was the case, and his stupidity shouldn't give him a special licence to injure people.

Also - I still have no clue what the law now is, regarding driving bans and custodial sentences, but back when this happened presumably it was definitely still the original system, whereby the ban ran concurrently with the jail term - so he'd have been able to get back behind the wheel the day he got out, no?

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burtthebike [1106 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Would it be entirely moral to suggest crowd funding a hit man for this scum?

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StraelGuy [1032 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

No. I'd chip in a tenner or two.

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
bendertherobot wrote:

It's hard to generalise but, murder is for those cases where you wanted to kill someone or, at the very least, cause them really serious harm. Manslaughter is for those cases where you did not intend to do that, but something less and death ensues. Wiki is pretty good on this. You can attempt to murder someone, that's where what you do fails. You can't attempt to manslaughter someone as intent/outcome are broadly absent in relation to manslaughter as an offence. It's a bit more complicated but essentially that. Manslaughter is a lesser offence. 

Agree that 'attempted manslaughter' is an incoherent concept, but I still find it odd that there's a special charge if you launch a violent attack on someone (with predictable concequences) with a weapon if the weapon happens to be a car. Also, the excuse that 'I didn't know there was a child in the trailer' seems rediculous to me. It was an obvious possibility that was the case, and his stupidity shouldn't give him a special licence to injure people. Also - I still have no clue what the law now is, regarding driving bans and custodial sentences, but back when this happened presumably it was definitely still the original system, whereby the ban ran concurrently with the jail term - so he'd have been able to get back behind the wheel the day he got out, no?

Which special charge? 

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FatBoyW [235 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Apologies for the obvious mistake on my part, obfuscating the point.  It seems cLear from the information provided that the man in the Range Rover committed an act of attempted murder.

 

my point is If you are in charge of dangerous equipment such as a motor vehicle and cannot show you have been diligent in its use then the term accident is to my mind incorrect. 

 

If if you crash a  vehicle and there is nothing to suggest why it happened then to my mind you should expect a charge. If the resulting 'accident' ends up in injury or death you should expect to go to prison. Excuses such as SMIDSY to my mind should be treated at least as careless, shouldn't be driving if you cannot see hazards. 

We all should expect to have to explain and justify our actions when driving. Basically the same rules as insurance apply for blame and a much stricter schedule of charges and ban the use of the word accident for things that happen where the driver could have done something differently, poor judgement does not result in an accident, it results in an incident in which someone is at fault. 

 

 

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... [1788 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
bendertherobot wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
bendertherobot wrote:

It's hard to generalise but, murder is for those cases where you wanted to kill someone or, at the very least, cause them really serious harm. Manslaughter is for those cases where you did not intend to do that, but something less and death ensues. Wiki is pretty good on this. You can attempt to murder someone, that's where what you do fails. You can't attempt to manslaughter someone as intent/outcome are broadly absent in relation to manslaughter as an offence. It's a bit more complicated but essentially that. Manslaughter is a lesser offence. 

Agree that 'attempted manslaughter' is an incoherent concept, but I still find it odd that there's a special charge if you launch a violent attack on someone (with predictable concequences) with a weapon if the weapon happens to be a car. Also, the excuse that 'I didn't know there was a child in the trailer' seems rediculous to me. It was an obvious possibility that was the case, and his stupidity shouldn't give him a special licence to injure people. Also - I still have no clue what the law now is, regarding driving bans and custodial sentences, but back when this happened presumably it was definitely still the original system, whereby the ban ran concurrently with the jail term - so he'd have been able to get back behind the wheel the day he got out, no?

Which special charge? 

Dangerous or (more frequently) careless driving. If you stab someone or shoot them (or just shoot _at_ them) you aren't charged with careless shooting or dangerous knifing. Whack them with a baseball bat and the charge isn't 'careless playing of baseball'.

Seems there are at least a few cases where a car has been used as a weapon (whether successfully hitting the target or not) but the resultant charge is a specific motoring one. Just wondering why.