July 9, 2021 12.51 pm This story is over 28 months old

Banned driver jailed after nearly killing 12-year-old cyclist in police chase

The victim was left with life-changing injuries

A banned driver who nearly killed a 12-year old-boy while trying to evade a pursuing police officer was jailed at Lincoln Crown Court on Friday.

Luke Mills, 29, from Boston, mowed down the young boy, knocking him off his bike as he drove along Church Road in Boston in his bid to get away from police.

His victim suffered a traumatic brain injury, damage to a lung and a fractured collar bone.

The boy was initially placed in an induced coma in hospital but has since been discharged and is at home. He is now back at school but is still not fully recovered and doctors fear he may be left permanently blinded in one eye.

Mills drove away afterwards leaving the boy lying seriously injured in the road.

Today Mills, 29, of Upsall Court, Kirton, near Boston, was jailed for 14 months and disqualified from driving for three years.

Mills admitted causing serious injury while driving while disqualified. He also admitted failing to stop after an accident, failing to stop for a police constable, driving without insurance and possession of cannabis.

At the time of the offence in the early evening of May 2 this year Mills was the subject of a 20-month driving ban imposed in South Wales in July 2020 for what was described as an identical offence.

Judge John Pini QC rejected Mills’ plea to be given a suspended jail sentence saying it was a “wholly unrealistic” submission.

The judge told him: “On July 8, 2020 you were convicted of driving while disqualified. The circumstances of that offence were identical to this save for, mercifully, you didn’t collide with anybody.

“On this occasion you nearly killed this young boy.

“You were a disqualified driver. You knew as a disqualified driver you were not insured.

“The officer shouted at you to turn off your engine. Your response was to accelerate and drive off. You did that because you didn’t want to be arrested. You didn’t want to be responsible for your own actions and drove off.

“As you turned into Church Road you knocked this 12 year old boy off his bicycle. You left a 12 year old boy lying in the road seriously injured so you could get away.

“While you were trying to escape that boy was being airlifted by helicopter to the Queen’s Medical Centre. This was all because you didn’t want to be caught.

“You are determined to flout court orders for your own ends. This offence is far too serious to be dealt with in any other way than an immediate custodial sentence.”

Noel Philo, prosecuting, said Mills stopped his car on John Adams Way, Boston, in response to a request from a police officer who noticed the vehicle came up as uninsured. The officer approached Mills and told him to turn off his engine but Mills accelerated away.

Mills continued along Main Ridge East, over Vauxhall Bridge onto Vauxhall Street and turned into Church Road.

Mr Philo said: “The next thing the officer was aware of was that he heard a girl screaming and saw the front wheel of a bicycle going across the road. Then he saw the young boy unconscious on the ground. “

The officer abandoned the pursuit and stopped to help the boy as Mills drove away. His vehicle, which was badly damaged, was found near Freiston Shore and Mills was arrested shortly afterwards.

Luc Chignell, in mitigation, said that offence has been a reality check for Mills who has been remanded in custody since his arrest.

“The knowledge that he very nearly killed a child has changed him.”

He said Mills has served nine weeks in prison while on remand and urged he be given a suspended jail sentence.

“He plans to return to Swansea when he is released. His girlfriend is in Swansea,” said Mr Chignell.

Sgt James Kirk of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit said, “This was an extremely serious driving offence that was committed by Mills after he failed to stop for a Police Officer.

“He critically injured a young boy and fled the scene without a thought for how is actions would impact on the victim and his family.

“I’d like to thank all the attending Police staff on the night and the Investigation Team. All of whom displayed a high level of professionalism and dedication in securing the evidence needed to ensure a conviction for causing serious injury whilst driving whilst disqualified.

“Lincolnshire Police will not tolerate this kind of driver behaviour on our roads. We welcome the custodial sentence imposed and we wish the victim and his family a progressive and speedy recovery.”