A TEENAGER sent ‘flying 30ft through the air’ by a hit-and-run driver has recalled the devastating impact it has had on his life.
Mikey Ford spent 11 weeks in hospital last year, where he was on life support for two days, after he was knocked down by driver Callum Laycock on July 8 on the northbound A32 heading into Fareham.
The 19-year-old has been left with brain damage and a large scar on his forehead, and has had to replace two front teeth.
Laycock, 26, of Crofton Lane, Stubbington, avoided a jail term at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday for his actions.
Mikey was unable to move his left foot for more than two weeks after the collision and despite him now being able to stand, he struggles to stay on his feet for long periods.
His victim impact statement, read out in court by Richard Withey, who was prosecuting Laycock, said: ‘Before the accident, I was capable of looking after myself and being able to do anything I wanted. Since the accident, it’s all changed.
I find that when I do something, I will stop and just stare, like my brain has stopped working.Mikey Ford, 19
‘My head injury has had a big impact on my life and I’ve been told that it will take up to five years for me to be able to live independently, without relying on other people’s help.
‘I struggle with my memory as my short-term memory has been seriously affected. I try doing small things and then I forget what I am doing.
‘I have to think about what I am trying to say as I struggle to get the words out in the right order. I find that when I do something, I will stop and just stare, like my brain has stopped working.’
Mikey does not remember anything about the incident and anything from the two weeks afterwards.
He was with a group of friends at 11pm when the incident happened, with witnesses stating that he had been crossing the road at the time of the accident.
The teenager, who was due to return to Fareham College last September to continue his studies in painting and decorating, said he did not know when his education would continue.
He said: ‘I’m not sure if I will be able to go back soon. I have not been able to do part-time work [due to the injuries].’
His father, Darren Ford, said in a statement: ‘Mikey was in hospital for two months but it will take a lot longer for him to recover from the mental scarring.
‘He needs a carer to constantly help him do things and needs guidance at all times.’
District Judge Anne Arnold said in her sentencing of Laycock: ‘The penalty this court imposes cannot make up for the injuries and the pain suffered by the victim and his family. He will carry these injuries for the rest of his life.’
Driver given fine but escapes jail time
CALLUM Laycock avoided a prison sentence for the incident despite being found guilty of driving without due care and attention.
He was driving his silver Vauxhall Astra on the A32 northbound by the turning off to Belvoir Close when the collision occurred.
He was found guilty of one count of driving without due care and attention by a judge in a trial having already previously pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to failing to stop after a road accident, failing to report the accident and using a vehicle likely to cause danger of injury.
He was given a 12-month community order to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £1,450 in legal costs and fines.
Witness says teenager was flown ‘30ft in air’ by car
MIKEY was thrown ‘30ft in the air’ by Laycock’s car, according to a witness.
Leonard Wollaston, who gave evidence in the trial at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, was driving behind Laycock, pictured, when the collision occurred.
He told the court: ‘I saw a group of people coming out of Belvoir Close.
‘The car was 10 to 15 yards away from them so there was enough time to see them. They were quite clearly under the influence of alcohol and two of them tried to cross over the road. One of them made it clear and the car went straight through.
‘The victim was thrown 30ft in the air. I didn’t see any brake lights.’
Mr Wollaston said that following the collision, he pulled his car over and called an ambulance for Mikey.
Henry Farley, defending Laycock, dismissed the witness’s evidence as ‘gobbledygook’ citing that he had changed his account of events in court to the police statement he gave following the incident.
Mr Farley told District Judge Anne Arnold: ‘You can place no reliance on the account by Mr Wollaston. It’s gobbledygook.’
Gary Ramshaw, a pedestrian said that he heard ‘a loud thump’ behind him and turned to see Mikey ‘rolling in the street.’
Laycock told the court that he did not see ‘anybody or anything’ during the incident which smashed his car’s windscreen.
He said: ‘I heard a thud. I did not see anybody or anything. I did not apply the brakes.’