Jail for driver who ploughed into little girl – and then sped off

Aylesbury Crown Court
Aylesbury Crown Court

A hit and run driver who mowed down a six-year-old girl at a pelican crossing and then sped off has been jailed.

Lewis Smith, 28, of New Road, Aston Clinton, accelerated as the lights changed to red on Tring Road, Aylesbury on January 17 this year.

The dangerous move saw him plough into a young girl, who Aylesbury Crown Court named only as Darcy.

She and her toddler brother Fred were walking home with their father from the Treasure Seekers after-school club.

Darcy pushed the button at the pelican crossing, and although she was holding her father’s hand, he was looking back towards Fred when the lights changed to green and his daughter stepped into the road.

She was struck by Smith’s car and was left with a serious fracture of her shin.

The youngster also needed brain scans to rule out any lasting damage and the court heard that her family had to cancel a holiday they had saved up for as a result of the incident.

After he realised he had hit Darcy, Smith sped away from the scene in his car, closely followed by motorist Mark Baraclough who had witnessed the crash.

Mr Baraclough, who was praised for his quick thinking by the court, followed Smith to a dead end where he was able to get his details.

When police went to Smith’s home they found him lying on his bed, in a room which smelled of cannabis.

Also in the room was a stun gun disguised as a torch, a weapon which is prohibited by law.

When questioned Smith admitted leaving the scene of the crash, and said that he kept the stun gun for protection because his home had been burgled.

The court also heard how disabled Smith, who has Ménière’s disease, feels vulnerable and drove a specially adapted car. He received compensation for medical negligence when he was younger for botched treatment which resulted in hearing loss.

His defence claimed that the accident ‘wasn’t intentional and was all over in a very short period of time’ and that ‘this was an isolated incidence of bad driving from an inexperienced driver.’

Judge Francis Sheridan expressed disgust that during questioning Smith had dismissed Darcy’s father’s version of events when he had ‘clearly accelerated away from the scene’.

A pre-sentence report also said that Smith has shown no willing to acknowledge his offending.

Judge Sheridan told him: “You do have difficulties, there’s no doubt about it but you are very much a man who put himself first.”

He added: “You are loathe to take any responsibility.”

No credit was given for Smith’s guilty plea, and Judge Sheridan sentenced him to ten months in prison for the drug and weapon possession offences as well as the hit and run.

Smith is also disqualified from driving for two years and six months.