Family horrified as woman is spared jail after mowing down girl, 10, and leaving her in a wheelchair
A mother who was banned from driving reportedly mowed down a 10-year-old girl and bolted from the scene leaving the child unconscious and bleeding in the middle of the road.
On November 6, 2018, Joanne Beven's car hit young Bobbie Tighe when she was crossing Redcar Road in Sunderland while on her way home from school, Daily Mail reports. The mother of three had been banned from driving a year earlier and her brakes weren't functioning properly at the time of the incident, but she drove nonetheless. While the 41-year-old woman drove off after crashing into the young girl, she later turned herself in. She has now been handed a suspended sentence in court, thereby leaving the victim's family at a loss for words.
However, little Bobbie was left in a wheelchair and needed counselinafter the harrowing ordeal. That said, her family couldn't believe their ears when they heard the judge give Beven a suspended sentence. The youngster is seen in CCTV footage being knocked sideways and hurled into the air before passers-by rush to rescue her to find her unconscious. The Newcastle Crown Court heard how Bobbie sustained a fractured pelvis, soft tissue, and minor head injuries from the impact.
"She doesn't stop in what clearly was an obvious impact on a young child," Jolyn Perks, prosecuting, told the court. "The child was still unconscious when her mother arrived. She was in a great deal of pain. She was attended to immediately after the accident by a member of the public."
According to Bobbie's mother Samantha, the critical injuries have had a devastating impact on her daughter. "She's had a period of time where she's had to be in a wheelchair unable to walk," Perks told of the victim.
An investigation into the incident conducted by the child's mother found Beven's vehicle parked on a driveway
"I think what has to be said from the outset is Joanne Beven does deeply regret what has happened to this young girl," Vic Laffey, defending, told the court.
"She's 41-years of age and she has three children of her own and one is virtually the same age as this little girl. Clearly, she has made two very serious errors. The most obvious one being driving at all when one is disqualified, and driving the vehicle in the condition that this one was. She had the good sense to contact the police and go into the police station and admit her guilt."
Laffey informed the court that Beven had reportedly been suffering from a barrage of mental health and personal problems, prior to the accident.
According to him, in case Beven was handed a prison sentence, it would mean relying on her 71-year-old father or eldest daughter to care for her two young children, adding that they both lived "some distance" from where the children were settled. "It will also punish her children. They will be punished for what she has done," he said.
Addressing Beven directly, Judge Recorder John Aitken, said, "You mowed down a 10-year-old girl happy to be going home after a day at school. You then compounded what had happened by simply driving off. Nothing noble comes out of this at that stage. Her mother was there when she woke up screaming in pain, knowing that your car had just drove off."
According to Aitken, he had to consider in his ruling whether Bobbie would fully recover in the near future. "I hope by the age of 11 or 12 she will have put this entirely behind her," he said.
"You have yourself two children, you have had time to think about this and are remorseful, I accept that. I do take into account your mental health and personal difficulties." Beven was subsequently sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended for two years.
Bobbie's mother Samantha, a 28-year-old support worker, spoke to reporters after the hearing. "I ran up to Bobbie she was just lying on the floor, people were screaming and crying," she said. "There was blood on her face. When she came round in the ambulance she was screaming. She kept saying, 'Mummy, mummy, mummy', it was horrific. We wanted a prison sentence. I wanted her to learn her lesson. We were devastated by the suspended sentence. She has never shown any remorse. She is not human. If you run a child over you stop. It isn't normal behavior."