‘Arrogant’ driver jailed for 100mph crash that led to victim losing a leg

THE victim of a 100mph hit-and-run crash forced to have his leg amputated after being left for dead says he has been ‘punished for life’.

Pharmacy manager Rusty Brown's right leg below the knee was crushed when the Mitsubishi Shogun he was driving was hit by speeding Ke Zhou's 4x4 Jaguar.

Jailed Kevin Zhou and his victim Rusty Brown's Mitsubishi Shogun wrecked after the crash. Picture: Sussex police

Jailed Kevin Zhou and his victim Rusty Brown's Mitsubishi Shogun wrecked after the crash. Picture: Sussex police

Jailing 29-year-old Zhou – who is known as Kevin – for three years, judge Timothy Mousley QC said: 'You could have caused (Mr Brown's) death. 

'Having seen the photographs it's only a miracle really that he did not die in a collision caused at that speed.'

Portsmouth Crown Court heard how Mr Brown was returning home from Portsmouth, where he works, after seeing a friend in the city.

Danger driver Zhou claimed to be travelling 10 miles from his Bognor Regis home to a 24-hour Tesco to pick up cooking ingredients when he hit more than 100mph on the A259 at 12.30am in the pouring rain.

Rusty Brown and his partner Jacqui Denton outside Portsmouth Crown Court. Picture Ian Hargreaves  (180921-1)

Rusty Brown and his partner Jacqui Denton outside Portsmouth Crown Court. Picture Ian Hargreaves (180921-1)

But after veering on to the wrong side of the road and crashing into formerly fit and active Mr Brown, 45, Zhou fled the scene, sitting in an unlocked parked car and then begged for cash for a taxi home.

Passers-by who spotted the crash called emergency services and calmed Mr Brown as Zhou, who claimed not to have seen the wrecked Mitsubishi made his escape.

Firefighters had to cut the roof off Mr Brown’s car to rescue him. He also suffered a fractured wrist in the crash on August 17 last year.

When Zhou arrived at Harwoods car dealership for work the next morning he claimed the company-owned Jaguar had been stolen in a burglary.

Kevin Zhou's red Jaguar F Type 4x4 after the crash on the A259. Picture: Sussex police

Kevin Zhou's red Jaguar F Type 4x4 after the crash on the A259. Picture: Sussex police

But Zhou was forced to go to a police station by his boss who police had already contacted after spotting the firm's branding on the vehicle.

Speaking to the The News about the moment he found out Zhou had fled the crash, Mr Brown - who has worked at Merali Pharmacy in Queen Street for 24 years - said: 'I was both angry and upset.

'Angry because it's just not what you do. Anybody with a shred of humanity would go and see and would try and help.'

His partner Jacqui Denton, 38, added: 'It's been hard. It's been very difficult to cope with and it's a huge change to our lives.'

Kevin Zhou's red Jaguar F Type 4x4 after the crash on the A259. Picture: Sussex police

Kevin Zhou's red Jaguar F Type 4x4 after the crash on the A259. Picture: Sussex police

The pair's lives have been turned upside down and formerly active Mr Brown, who played five-a-side at Soccer City in Fareham, has been left to make with a painful recovery.

Every aspect of his life has been affected but he hopes to rebuild his life and take part in cycling, long walks and sport again.

Mr Brown, who tried to pull himself free of the wreckage but was trapped, added: 'The sentence he got was great.

'The sentence will send a message you can't get away with it.'

In a victim personal statement read out by prosecutor Sarah Morris in court, Mr Brown, who has to face the A259 daily on his way to and from home, detailed the struggles with his prosthetic leg and the toll it has taken on his partner.

'We've been punished for life,' he said.

His partner told The News: 'He will serve his sentence and will come out and rebuild his life - we will have to live with this forever.'

Beijing-born Zhou, of Summerly Lane, Bognor Regis, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving in the crash on August 17, and failing to stop, report an accident and give information as to the identity of a driver.

Judge Mousley imposed a four-year ban, extended to cover his time in jail. He must complete an extended retest to regain a licence.

In a statement Sussex police’s PC Ben Henwood said: ‘Zhou has shown no remorse for his actions by giving no account in interview of the incident or his actions, running from scene of the collision where he tried to hide in an outhouse nearby, and arrogantly turning up at work with no concern or worry about what had just happened.

‘His actions left a man fighting for his life in his vehicle in a ditch, and wondering what happened for his life to change.’

JAILED Kevin Zhou claimed he had an ‘addiction’ to fast cars and was ashamed of what he had done in injuring Rusty Brown.

But sentencing judge Timothy Mousley QC ruled Zhou’s ‘remorse is perhaps not as profound’ as is found in other cases.

The 29-year old, who was born in Beijing but came to the UK as a teenager, told a probation officer he blamed the ‘power and speed’ of the vehicle for the crash, the judge added.

And the judge said Zhou had something ‘approaching to an obsession’ with cars.

Lawyers for Zhou, who was banned for drink-driving in 2012 and caught speeding in 2015, called a witness to give evidence as to his character.

Sara Black described the Imperial College London university graduate, who now works for a computer games firm, as ‘quick to lie’ as a teenager due to his harsh upbringing.

She added: ‘He always takes responsibility for his actions, sometimes he has to think twice to do it.’

She added Zhou was ‘devastated’ when he learnt of Mr Brown’s injuries.

In court, married man Zhou claimed to have gone straight over a bend on the road, put a full steering lock on to try and move the car but then saw lights from Mr Brown’s car approaching before the crash.

He scrambled out in a ‘blind panic’ and claimed not to have seen Mr Brown’s crumpled Mitsubishi as he fled and hid in a parked car on a driveway.

PC Ben Henwood thanked Mr Brown for his ‘help and dedication in bringing Zhou to justice’ and praised forensics teams who pieced together what happened and linked Zhou to the car.