A mechanic who cut a corner and smashed into a mum – leaving her seriously injured – has been jailed.
Samuel Roberts, an MOT tester at Darley Dale Garage, was driving his Range Rover in Matlock when he struck Nina Hall, Derby Crown Court heard.
The 26-year-old’s mother shrieked and collapsed in shock as he was locked up for 18 months on Friday, resulting in a dramatic evacuation of the courtroom.
Mrs Hall sustained severe injuries in the crash and spent over a month in hospital. She is still suffering both physically and psychologically as a result of the collision.
Christopher Geeson, prosecuting, told the court that Roberts indicated to turn right on to Church Street at about 5.30pm on November 6, 2013.
He said: “As Mrs Hall was crossing the road, the defendant cut the corner at a minimum of 22mph – a speed which was far too great for the circumstances – and he collided with her.”
Mrs Hall suffered skull fractures and bleeding on the brain. She was treated in the intensive care unit at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.
In a victim impact statement read out by Mr Geeson, Mrs Hall said she now has prominent scarring on her head and chest, a disfigured leg and hip problems.
She added: “I can’t do things like take my kids swimming or walk the dogs because of the pain.
“My personality has changed, I suffer with anxiety and I’ve lost self-confidence because of the scarring and disfigurement. I’ve had to have counselling.
“This offence has had a major effect on me and my family life.”
Mr Geeson also told the court that Roberts’ Range Rover failed its MOT on October 31, 2013.
At the time of the crash, the powerful vehicle had defective wipers and screen demisters which could have affected Roberts’ view on that dark, rainy night, Mr Geeson added.
Roberts was driving from his home in Tor Rise, Matlock, to the garage to repair the defects, the court heard.
Chris Aspinall, mitigating, said: “My client is aware of the difficulty and trauma Mrs Hall and her family have been put through.
“This was a momentary lapse.
“He’s a young man who makes a positive contribution to society.
“It’s a very difficult time for him - he constantly has flashbacks of that night – and what happened is going to have a long effect on him.”
Jailing Roberts, Judge Ebrahim Mooncey said: “The message has to go out that a car is a huge machine which can be very dangerous.
“Drivers need to take great care when they’re behind the wheel.
“If they drive dangerously, they will be punished.”
Roberts, who pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving after originally denying the offence, was also banned from driving for two years. After that he will have to take an extended driving test before he is able to drive.
However, Mr Aspinall said his client may never want to drive again after the incident.