A transit van driver ran down a woman leaving her with horrific injuries then tried to escape blame by telling police his vehicle had been stolen, Lincoln Crown Court was told on Friday.
Charlie Gray, 26, who was on his way to visit his father in hospital, lost control of his vehicle on Laughton Way, Lincoln, and struck his victim Casey Dent, 23, who had just left a friend’s Vauxhall Corsa after being given a lift home.
Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said that Gray, who was driving too fast, hit Miss Dent with such force that she was thrown into the air.
Mr Scott told the court: “Miss Dent got out of the Corsa and started to make her way to the rear of the vehicle. As the defendant approached he lost control. He collided with the side of the Corsa and then struck Miss Dent throwing her into the air. She landed on the road.”
Gray, who had only passed his driving test nine months earlier, later estimated he was driving at between 30 and 35mph on the road which has a 30 limit.
“The injuries she sustained were life changing. There was damage to her spleen which had to be removed. She had lacerations to her kidney and adrenal gland, two fractured ribs, a number of spinal fractures, a broken hip and a small tear to the bowel.
“She will never fully recover from her injuries. She will have to take medication for the rest of her life.”
Mr Scott said that Miss Dent, who spent ten days in the Queen’s Medical Centre at Nottingham, has no memory of the incident. She is now unable to work.
In a statement read out in court she said: “My whole life has been massively impacted. He has changed my life forever. ”
Gray did not stop to help Miss Dent and instead immediately drove away from the scene. He abandoned his van 700 metres away in Thurlby Crescent and then made his way on foot to Lincoln County Hospital to see his father.
Later the same evening Gray rang police to report that his van had been stolen after being parked near to the hospital.
He claimed he was in such a panic to see his father that he had left the van unlocked with the keys in the ignition and the vehicle was stolen.
Gray went on to make a statement to police giving full details of the “theft” of his van but within hours police suspected he wasn’t telling the truth and he was arrested.
Charlie Gray, 26, of Marham Close, Lincoln, admitted charges of careless driving, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident as a result of the incident on the evening of November 8, 2019. He also admitted a charge of perverting the course of justice.
He was jailed for six months and banned from driving for 15 months.
Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, told him: “This is an utterly tragic case from Casey Dent’s perspective. Your van struck the Corsa then struck Miss Dent sending her flying into the air. Despite that you didn’t stop and drove off. You left her lying on the road grievously injured.
“You made a quite deliberate decision to concoct a wholly false story in order to avoid prosecution. There has to be an immediate custodial sentence.”
Sunil Khanna, in mitigation, said that Gray had been in Lincoln with his partner to buy a washing machine and was on his way home when he received a phone call to say his father had been admitted to hospital.
“He dropped his partner off and returned. He was driving at 30-35mph and accepts that as it was damp, his driving was a little bit too quick for the conditions.
“As he was driving along Laughton Way something caught his eye. He thought it was an animal crossing the road. He tried to swerve and then tried to swerve back.”
Mr Khanna said that after being arrested Gray went on to make full admissions to the police and has shown genuine remorse.