Boy hit by car has 'forgiven' Farnborough driverBy Elena Cresci
December 20, 2012
A SCHOOLBOY and the man who hit him with his car have forged an unlikely bond, magistrates were told last week.
The court heard how Jacob Ramsey, of Quinneys, Farnborough, had met with Adam Wilkins, 11, from Ash, and his family in an attempt to make amends after he hit the pupil outside his school in September.
While his counsel asked magistrates not to send the 30-year-old to jail, Ramsey was given 12 weeks in prison for failing to stop at the scene of an accident.
Nick Wilson, prosecuting, told the court how Ramsey, who had been driving a silver Mercedes, had panicked after hitting the boy by Ash Manor School in Manor Road and drove off. Mr Wilson added that Ramsey was uninsured to drive the car and had only a provisional licence.
But 18 minutes later, Ramsey stopped in Elstead and called police to hand himself in.
Mr Wilson read a victim impact statement, written by Adam’s mother Kirsty Scarlett, who spoke of the long-term effects the accident had on her son and their family life.
Adam suffered a fractured skull, a fractured right fibular and cuts and bruises in the collision and was treated at St George’s hospital in Tooting.
Mrs Scarlett explained her son had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was two, a condition she said was ‘extremely difficult’ to live with. She has had to give up work to look after her son and said Adam was a ‘happy-go-lucky little boy’ before the accident, but he is now anxious when cars go past and suffers from nightmares.
She said: “This accident has put a massive strain on our family. I feel it’s important to stress to the court how difficult our lives have been since this incident occurred.”
But the court also heard how the family had made amends with Ramsey. Matthew Bliss, speaking for the defence, said Mrs Scarlett had shaken Ramsey’s hand after he pleaded guilty last month to failing to stop at the accident and told him he had done the right thing.
Mr Bliss told Guildford Magistrates' Court that Ramsey had met with Adam the weekend before the sentencing, which took place om December 14. He also read a letter to the court written by Mrs Scarlett, in which she gave full credit to Ramsey for turning himself in and for pleading guilty.
She said: “In Adam’s own words, ‘I’ve forgiven Jake and I want him to know everything is okay.’”
Mr Bliss said: “To his credit, having made that error of judgement, he realised very quickly that was the wrong thing to do.
“His only concern that evening was for the welfare of Adam Wilkins. It’s something that will be with him for the rest of his life. He admitted had the same thing happened to his eight-year-old son, he would have reacted very badly to it.”
Chairman of the bench Graham Kendall said magistrates had noted Ramsey’s attempts to make amends as well as the letters and statements from Mrs Scarlett.
He said: “However, to us this is right at the top end of our sentencing guidelines.
“You heard the child screaming and you still left the scene of the crime. You should, and you know you should, have stopped at the time.”
Ramsey was sentenced to 12 weeks, reduced from 18 for his early guilty plea, and was ordered to pay £300 in compensation.
His provisional licence was also endorsed with six points.
Ramsey’s lawyers lodged an appeal against the sentence later that day.