Bassetlaw dangerous driver left teenage boy with serious injuries

A dangerous driver from Bassetlaw who left a teenage boy with serious injuries after he crashed into the side of an HGV was spared prison because of the damage he sustained, a court has heard.

By Tim Cunningham
Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 4:43 pm

Leigh Johnson was travelling at nearly twice the speed limit in a 30mph zone when he embedded his Vauxhall into the lorry at the junction of Bridge End Road and Houghton Road in Newark on October 15, 2019, said prosecutor Abi Joyce.

The impact moved the trailer by 90 degrees and firefighters were called to cut Johnson and his two passengers free.

A 14-year-old boy was treated for a bleed on his brain as a result of a fractured skull and a plate had to be fitted into his fractured jaw.

Leigh Johnson crashed into an HGV at the junction of Bridge End Road, and Houghton Road, in Newark.

In a statement, the boy's mother said: "When he came home from hospital he was like a different child."

She said he suffered from memory problems and was still waiting for news about removing the plate 18 months later.

The court heard Johnson has 20 previous convictions for 62 offences, including dangerous driving in 2004 and failing to stop in 2006.

His other convictions include robbery, burglary, assault and wounding and he last appeared in court for possession of Class B drugs in 2015.

Andrew Wesley, mitigating, said: “He has little or no recollection of the incident. The footage shows an attempt to steer around the vehicle.

"He is deeply ashamed. There is genuine regret. He had sorted himself out. He had employment."

Johnson was injured in the collision, Mr Wesley added, and said he had kept out of trouble for six years.

Johnson, 33, of Yew Tree Road, Elkesley, Retford, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court in September 2020.

Judge Stuart Rafferty QC said: "If you had not been seriously hurt, you would have been going to prison. You were hurt more seriously than your victim. Because of the injuries you sustained - life in prison would be impossible."

On Wednesday, he imposed a two-year sentence, suspended for two years.

Johnson was banned from driving for five years and must taken an extended re-test before he can drive again.

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