Accident boy's family slams driver's 'joke' sentence

THE grandmother of an 11-year-old boy whose life has been ruined by the horrific injuries he suffered after being struck by a speeding

THE grandmother of an 11-year-old boy whose life has been ruined by the horrific injuries he suffered after being struck by a speeding car has branded the law 'a joke' after the driver who hit him escaped with a community sentence.She says no penalty will ever make up for what has happened to young Brendon Ford, who has been left without the ability to talk or eat properly and faces the prospect of never being able to live independently again.The schoolboy, of Bournville Road, Weston, was left fighting for his life after being hit 'as high as a lamppost' by a Vauxhall Astra driven by Alistair Shears. The youngster was hit as Shears carelessly twisted and swerved between traffic outside Wyvern Community School in Marchfields Way, Weston.Shears, aged 22, of Quantock Road, Weston, was ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work after admitting careless driving when he appeared before magistrates. He was also fined £200, disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay £60 costs for pleading guilty to driving without insurance.Brendon's grandmother, Carol Kibby, said: "The law is wrong, the sentence is a joke. It will never make up for Brendon's injuries, never. He should have been chained to the bottom of Brendon's hospital bed and then he would have seen what he has really done."When he has finished his community service he will be able to get on with his life, but Brendon will never be able to get on with his."A statement read out in court said Brendon had gone from a fit, loveable boy to one unable to properly talk, eat solid foods or ever live independently again. He suffered a range of serious injuries and part of his skull has had to be removed.Shears, who has a history of driving without insurance and was handed a community sentence three years ago, broke down in tears as North Somerset Courthouse in St Georges was told how nurse Mary Rose watched him smirk as he flew past her and zigzag in and out of traffic before hitting Brendon on October 15 last year. Shears had bought the car the day before for £800.She said in a statement: "I was driving into Weston at 2.20pm, from the motorway along Herluin Way. I was in the right-hand lane travelling at about 40-45mph."I became aware of a car behind me. He (Shears) was a couple of feet away revving his engine."I felt intimidated and felt he was pushing me to drive faster or move out of the way, but there was no room for me to move into."I stopped at the traffic lights at the roundabout by B&Q and as I waited he carried on revving his engine. He was making me very angry."I moved out of the way and the Astra shot past me and travelled along Marchfields Way. He seemed to smirk as he went past and I wagged my finger at him."The statement said Shears weaved in and out of traffic, undertaking and overtaking cars as he travelled faster than everyone else.Mary Rose added in the statement: "Then I heard the bang and I was horrified to see what I saw. A young person or a child flew up into the air as high as the adjacent lamppost."Another witness said Shears, wearing a yellow T-shirt with black trousers and white trainers in court, was driving like 'a complete prat'. He said he saw a child fly into the air and also watched a pair of shoes disappear in a different direction.A police investigation established Shears' car must have been travelling at a minimum of 44mph - four mph above the speed limit.Stuart Diaper, prosecuting, said the Astra could have potentially been travelling at over 60mph.Owen Strickland, defending, said: "My client has not driven since the occasion and is not sure he can again."He must have been driving faster than he should have been - he took evasive action but unfortunately a young boy was hit."It is a rather dangerous road and I often wonder why there is not a crossing. It is a miracle it does not happen more often.


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