Hit and run driver jailed

editorial image

A SPEEDING motorist, driving his car for the first time, lost control and ploughed into a cyclist, a court heard.

Kristian Hackett drove off after the collision, leaving badly injured John Lees lying in the road.

The 22-year-old victim went over the top of the car before ending up on the roadway suffering from a badly injured left leg.

A witness who saw the impact believed Hackett had been travelling at twice the 30mph limit and thought “he’s just killed that cyclist.”

Two days later Hackett handed himself into police and learned the victim had been a former school friend.

Jailing 21-year-old Hackett for eight months, Judge William George said: “Every time he (Mr Lees) gets into a car or does everyday activities he will be reminded of the serious injury to his leg. This offence is so serious only a custodial sentence is justified.”

The incident happened about 2.30pm on August 5 as Mr Lees, an engineer, was cycling along Greenfold Way, Leigh.

He overtook a lorry and moved out to overtake a stationary truck when he saw an out-of-control Diahutsu car heading at speed towards him and he was then struck by it. He underwent eight operations to repair the damage to his kneecap and leg. He had to undergo skin grafts and is still receiving physiotherapy. In a victim impact statement Mr Lees said that his life had been ruined by the accident.

Hackett, of Dakins Road, Leigh, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident, failing to report an accident and driving without insurance.

Judge George banned him from driving for three years and ordered him to take an extended test before he can drive again.

Ms Zillah Williams, defending, said that apprentice joiner Hackett only bought his car the night before. Hackett, who has no previous convictions, accepted he had been travelling at about 40mph. Ms Williams said: “He is extremely remorseful. He was in the year above Mr Lees at school and considered him to be a friend. He got in touch with him while he was still in hospital to apologise.”