Jail for Sheffield teen who fled the scene after mowing down 73-year-old man

The collision took place on Dykes Hall Road, Hillsborough at around 3.30pm on April 4 last year
The collision took place on Dykes Hall Road, Hillsborough at around 3.30pm on April 4 last year

'Why didn't you wait' - that is the heartbreaking question a 73-year-old Sheffield man has asked to the disqualified teenage driver who ran him over before fleeing the scene.

Judge Roger Thomas QC sentenced 19-year-old Daniel Webster to two years in a young offenders' institute during a sentencing at Sheffield Crown Court today, after he admitted to one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.

Proseucting, Louise Gallagher, told the court how Webster, of Palgrave Crescent, Southey Green hit the elderly pedestrian with the black and yellow Audi A3 he was driving on Dykes Hall Road, Hillsborough at around 3.30pm on April 4 last year.

She said the man was crossing the road holding two pints of milk after visiting a nearby Tesco Express with his young grandchildren, when Webster suddenly reversed to 'get round another car' and hit him.

Showing the court CCTV of the accident, Ms Gallagher said: "He's crossing towards the vehicle when it begins to reverse. The back wheel of the vehicle drove over his ankle. Fortunately he was not thrown clear.

"The defendant got out and shows initial concern. Witnesses say he said something along the lines of: 'I'm just going to move my vehicle' and then gets back into the car and drives off."

Following a police appeal for information, Webster handed himself into the police on April 26, but later claimed he was not driving the vehicle.

The teenage father initially pleaded not guilty to the offence, but changed his plea to guilty at a hearing last month.

The court was told how the man's grandchildren were nearby when the collision occurred.

The man was left with number of serious injuries including two breaks to his right shin bone, a broken right ankle and bruising to both legs.

He needed to undergo surgery for his injuries, that required 26 pins to be fitted around a cage on his right leg that was in place for over two months.

Through a series of heartbreaking victim impact statements, Webster's victim explained how the injuries he suffered means he can only stand for 10 minutes at a time, has to use a wheelchair for trips to the supermarket,that he will walk with a limp for the rest of his life and has caused him to suffer from depression.

He said: "Accidents happen, but I don't understand why he didn't stay at the scene. I won't be able to take my grandchildren to and back from school anymore, which I love doing."

The man added: "I've had four types of cancer but this has had a far greater impact. I'm very disappointed he didn't stop and acknowledge what he had done."

Ms Gallagher told the court that Webster has never held a full drivers license, has previously been convicted of related offences including driving without insurance, driving whilst disqualified and driving whilst under the influence of drugs.

At the time of the offence he was on bail for three separate driving offences that were committed in June, July and September 2016, the court heard.

Nicholas Worsley, defending, told the court that Webster has 'heartfelt remorse' for his actions, adding that he chose to flee the scene out of panic because he was fearful of being locked up and leaving his then pregnant girlfriend to deal with her difficult pregnancy alone. She was in the passenger seat when the collision took place.

He said: "He's full of remorse. He would, if he could, express this directly to the victim. He appreciates the comment he made when he said: 'why didn't you wait'."

Sending him to prison, Judge Thomas said Webster had continued to show a 'flagrant disregard' for traffic laws.

"Your car was several feet away, and as he gets to that part of the carriageway, without any warning you reversed that car. You didn't do it in a careful way, but in a quick and vicious way," said Judge Thomas.

In addition to his two-year sentence, Judge Thomas disqualified Webster from driving for four years, after which time he will need to take an extended test should he wish to get back behind the wheel.