Leeds family’s fury at hit and run sentence

Aidan Clynes at his home in Middleton, Leeds.
Aidan Clynes at his home in Middleton, Leeds.
Have your say

A hit and run victim has spoken of his disbelief after the driver who left him fighting for his life was spared jail.

Aidan Clynes, 18, is still recovering nearly a year after he was hit by a car driven by Abid Hussain, 52, on Dewsbury Road in Tingley.

The smash, on March 29, left him with two broken legs, a broken neck, ribs, collar bone, shoulder blade and bruised lungs. While police appealed for the driver to come forward, Aidan was fighting for his life in intensive care at Leeds General Infirmary. He spent 40 days in hospital, where surgeons pinned the bones in his leg and fitted a head brace to his broken neck.

His still has twice weekly physio sessions and was forced to ditch his aspiring career as a plumber due to his injuries.

Last week, Hussain, of Enfield Drive, Batley, appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court and admitted driving without due care and attention, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident.

He was given a 20-week sentence, suspended for 12 months, a nine-month disqualification from driving and ordered to pay £230 costs.

Aidan, of Middleton, said: “I couldn’t believe it. I was happy when they charged him. I thought some justice is going to come out of this. But then I heard what he got. I thought for doing something that bad, he would go to prison. It has changed my life altogether. I can’t sleep. I’m always thinking about it.”

Aidan said most flashbacks are of waking up, terrified, in intensive care, and of the accident itself. He recalled: “I remember hearing a loud engine noise and waking up on the floor. My friends were both crying and I could hear my name. I remember feeling cold and wanting to go to sleep and they kept telling me to wake up.”

He added: “The worst part was coming out of hospital with the halo on. I couldn’t do anything. I had to drop out of college. I did go back but I couldn’t bend down to do the practicals. I don’t think I’ll be able to go into a trade now.”

Aidan’s mum Tina Clarke said: “I’m disgusted. He should have got a prison sentence or banned for longer. To say Aidan nearly died twice in one week.”

She said: “Aidan feels like it’s never-ending but he’s doing the best he can to try and put it all behind him.”

Dad Wayne Clynes added: “He’s just the bravest lad I have ever known. It’s turned his life upside down, it really has.”

Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland echoed the family’s disbelief at the sentence, branding it “extraordinary and derisory”.

The Lib Dem MP last month spoke in a House of Commons debate calling for changes to sentencing for serious driving offences. A review is expected to start early this year. He said: “I’m pleased the Government has announced a review of sentencing guidelines for serious driving offences. This case shows the sentences given to hit-and-run drivers must be included in this.”

520-home Leeds city centre eco-village could be a world-leader