8 months' jail for driver who failed to stop after leaving cyclist with serious leg injuries

Motorist discovered victim was former schoolfriend after turning himself in

by Simon_MacMichael   October 7, 2011  

Gavel

A motorist in Leigh, Greater Manchester who lost control of a car he had just bought and hit a cyclist, causing him serious leg injuries, then drove off without stopping, has been jailed for eight months.

When he handed himself in to police two days after the incident on the afternoon of August 5, apprentice joiner Kristian Hackett, aged 21, discovered that the victim was someone who had been his friend at school, 22-year old John Lees, reports Wigan Today.

Sentencing Hackett, Judge William George didn’t mention whether the victim, an engineer, would be able to ride his bike again, instead choosing to highlight the impact of his injuries on his ability to drive.

“Every time he [Mr Lees] gets into a car or does everyday activities he will be reminded of the serious injury to his leg,” he said, adding, “This offence is so serious only a custodial sentence is justified.”

In a victim impact statement, Mr Lees told the court that the incident, which took place on Greenfold Way in Leigh, had ruined his life.

An eyewitness told the court that the car that struck Mr Lees, who needed eight operations on his kneecap and leg as well as skin grafts, had been traveling at double the speed limit of 30mph when it hit the cyclist, who had pulled out to pass a stationary van, head-on.

The witness added that their initial thought had been, ““he’s just killed that cyclist.”

Hackett, who had bought the Daihatsu car the previous evening, had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without insurance, failure to stop after an accident and failure to report an accident.

Besides the eight-month prison sentence, he received a three-year ban from driving and will have to undergo an extended driving test to get his licence back once that expires.

Ms Zillah Williams, on behalf of Hackett, said that he had no previous and that her client admitted that he had been traveling at 40mph.

She added: “He is extremely remorseful. He was in the year above Mr Lees at school and considered him to be a friend. He got in touch with him while he was still in hospital to apologise.”

3 user comments

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Not enough! No insurance, failure to stop and failure to report all give an indication of his attitude to driving and the laws governing driving.

Add to that the dangerous driving and 8 months is not nearly enough.

Its about time that people in charge of motor vehicles are properly penalised when they behave in this way.

Shay

posted by shay cycles [221 posts]
7th October 2011 - 16:53

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Looks like the announcement today would see Hackett go down for 5 years in future. Of course that would be 2.5 years in real terms.

I favour not combining prison sentences that sound good (but end up being shortened through probation) with a mandatory 10 year driving ban for those sentenced under the new dangerous driving bill proposed. Plenty of time to think about sharing the road and keeping the prisons - and roads clearer.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1058 posts]
7th October 2011 - 17:43

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It's a privilege to have a driving licence, it should be removed permanently from characters as described above.

Hamster's picture

posted by Hamster [72 posts]
7th October 2011 - 21:55

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