'Miracle no one was killed': Boy suffered skull fracture and brain injuries when his dad crashed car in Leeds while more than double the drink-drive limit

A boy suffered a skull fracture and brain injuries after his dad ploughed their family car into a wall while double the drink-drive limit.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 4:45 am

A court heard how the youngster, aged under ten years old, was unconscious when he was rushed to hospital following the collision in Leeds.

The boy's mum and dad both pleaded guilty to child cruelty charges over the incident.

Leeds Crown Court heard the child's parents had driven to the Beeston area of the city with their son and another young boy along with two adults.

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Leeds Crown Court

One of the adults was in the boot of the car when it crashed into the wall on Dewsbury Road.

The dad had driven them to a friend's house where the adults spent the evening drinking.

Both parents were drunk when they got into the vehicle with the two children.

Anthony Moore, prosecuting, said they drove to an off-licence to buy more alcohol and were heading to their home in another area of the city when the collision took place.

During the journey the dad began driving "very fast" and his partner screamed at him to slow down.

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He lost control of the car which spun out of control before crossing the carriageway and demolishing a wall.

A witness saw one of the adults get out of the car with a head injury.

The dad was seen down on the ground holding his son in his arms.

The witness said the dad smelt strongly of alcohol.

The boy lost consciousness and was taken to Leeds General Infirmary by ambulance.

Mr Moore said the dad was also taken to hospital where he became aggressive towards police officers, telling them: "I will come and find you and I will kill you."

Mr Moore said: "He was blaming everyone else for the injuries and said he had been in the passenger seat."

A blood sample showed he was more than double the drink-drive limit.

The boy suffered a fracture to a bone in his skull and bleeding on his brain.

He did not require surgery and was discharged five days later.

The court heard the dad was also involved in three further drink-related offences.

In August last year he assaulted a taxi driver by punching him to the side of the head.

In April this year he injured a police officer as he was arrested for throwing a can of beer at a police van in Leeds city centre.

He was arrested again in June after throwing beer cans at two police officers during a disturbance outside his home.

The dad pleaded guilty to two counts of child cruelty, drink driving, three counts of assaulting an emergency worker and one count of common assault.

He was jailed for 16 months and banned from driving for two years.

The mum pleaded guilty to two counts of child cruelty.

She was given a ten-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

She was also made the subject of a 90-day alcohol monitoring programme and ordered to complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Martin Morrow, mitigating for the dad, said the defendant was ashamed of what he had done.

He said: "This has been a very difficult and eye-opening experience for the defendant.

"If he hasn't learnt his lesson then I don't know what it takes."

Mark Foley, mitigating for the mum, said she had pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage and has no previous convictions.

He said: "It was an isolated incident by someone who in all other respects has been a good mother."

Sentencing, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said: "Over a period of several hours you got thoroughly intoxicated without any care for the welfare of those children.

"As was almost inevitable, you lost control of your car and crashed it.

"It is a miracle that no one was killed or permanently seriously injured."

Jailing the dad, Judge Marson said: "Appropriate punishment can only be achieved by immediate custody."

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