May 20 2013 Latest news:
Ben Bloom , Reporter
Monday, June 18, 2012
A lorry driver has avoided jail after reversing the wrong direction down Baker Street and crushing an 18-year-old boy who was on his way to collect his A-Level results.
Robert Mason, 43, was parking his heavy goods vehicle to pick up a sandwich on the one-way road on August 18 last year when the boy stepped off the pavement and was crushed under the wheels.
The victim was left with life-threatening injuries including a broken and de-gloved femur and a crushed pelvis and had to undergo eight operations over the following month.
He has now made an “extraordinary recovery” and, following a five-week stay in hospital and 12 weeks using a walking stick, is able to walk normally.
A hearing at Southwark Crown Court this Monday heard that Mason’s lorry had a number of measures fitted to help the driver when reversing but none of them were in place at the time of the accident.
The audible beeping warning to alert pedestrians was switched off, the side reversing mirror was incorrectly positioned and the reversing camera was not working.
Helen Thomas, prosecuting, told the court the victim was speaking to a friend on his phone when he was hit.
“He was waiting for his A-Level results talking to his friend about getting their results,” she said.
“As he stepped off the curb he looked towards the flow of traffic where he expected it to be coming from but he was hit.”
A victim impact statement read out in court stated: “I have thought about this accident many times.
“I view it as a tragic accident and do not think for one second [the driver] set out to harm me.”
It continued: “I think myself lucky to be alive.”
The court heard the driver of a bus on the road sounded its horn in a bid to alert Mason to the pedestrian but the lorry driver failed to hear it.
Defence counsel Matthew Hardyman told the court his client had suffered from a “moment of madness”.
Mason, of Neasden, pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving. He received a nine-month jail sentence suspended for a year, a six-month supervision order and 100 hours unpaid work. He was also disqualified for driving for one year.
Judge Michael Grieve QC said: “The one really happy part of this is the extraordinarily good recovery made from a life-threatening situation.”