August 28, 2018 3.05 pm This story is over 37 months old

Driver who hit dog walker spared jail

“He has shown remarkable fortitude”

A young motorist who hit a dog walker when he lost control of his car and mounted the pavement has been spared custody after his victim said he did not want him locked up.

Luke Booth, 20, was estimated to be travelling at between 35mph and 45mph when he collided with Oliver Samkin in Mill Hill, Nettleham.

Mr Samkin, who had stopped to attend to his dog, suffered a string of serious injuries including fractures to his skull, spine and eye socket which required 97 medical visits.

But Lincoln Crown Court was told Mr Samkin had shown an “incredible generosity of spirt” and did not want to see Booth sent to custody.

The court heard Mr Samkin was walking his dog with an 11-year-old boy when the collision occurred at 8.15pm on January 26 last year.

Gurdial Singh, prosecuting, said Mr Samkin had no real memory of the incident but the boy described how a car came towards them on Mill Hill.

When police arrived at the scene Mr Samkin was being helped by members of the public and it was clear he had been seriously injured. He was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham where he spent three nights.

During his first account to police at the scene Booth said he lost control on the bend and hit a lampost and pedestrian after slipping on what he thought was ice.

In interview Booth said the temperature in his car was minus two degrees but the court heard police did not find ice at the scene.

An updated medical statement from Mr Samkin was read out in court. It described how he had suffered both mentally and physically, with regular episodes of dizziness and fatigue, and now required glasses.

The court heard Mr Samkin had a titanium plate inserted in his eye socket and cheek bone, and in total had travelled over 4,000 miles for 97 medical visits.

Mr Singh said: “He and his family suffered a large amount of anguish. They have put their lives on hold.”

But Mr Singh told the court Mr Samkin did not want Booth to be sent to prison.

“All he wanted was for the defendant to show remorse for his actions,” Mr Singh added.

The court heard Booth had no previous convictions and had written a letter to his victim once it was appropriate.

John McNally, mitigating, said Booth was not an arrogant young driver and had not been racing.

Mr McNally told the court: “This is an incident no one ever meant to happen.”

Booth, 20, of Fiskerton Road, Reepham, admitted a charge of causing serious injury to Oliver Samkin by dangerous driving on January 26, 2017.

He was sentenced to ten months in a young offenders institution suspended for two years and must carry out 240 hours of unpaid work in the community.

He was also banned from driving for two years and must take an extended retest, and was also ordered to pay £1,200 in court costs.

Passing sentence Judge Simon Hirst told Booth his speed at the time of the collision was excessive in the circumstances.

The judge said: “You hit the kerb, hit a wooden telegraph pole and more significantly hit Mr Samkin.”

But the just said he was “just” able to suspend the sentence on Booth because of his good character, guilty plea, remorse and the “generosity” shown by Mr Samkin.

The judge added: “He has shown remarkable fortitude and remarkable generosity to you.”

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