Mother of Newbury hit-and-run victim, 12, gives heartbreaking testimony to Reading Crown Court
THE mother of a girl maimed for life by a hit-and-run driver has told how her daughter's dreams of travelling the world have been shattered.
The victim, aged 12 at the time, also loved dancing and gymnastics.
In heart-rending testimony to a judge, the girl's mother described the bleak future the family now faces, with her daughter now dependent on machines and 24-hour care just for survival.
Meanwhile, the full criminality of the hit-and-run driver - who went on to commit a new dangerous driving offence while awaiting sentence - was revealed.
At Reading Crown Court yesterday, Friday, September 10, 21-year-old Ethan Davison, of Harrison Road, Southampton, Hampshire, was jailed for three-and-a-half years for causing serious injury by dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice.
The court heard how his vehicle mounted the A339 kerb at 8.55pm on December 27, 2019, as the girl - whose identity is legally protected - and her family were walking home from a Christmas panto, Sleeping Beauty, at the Corn Exchange.
Davison never stopped.
He brazenly continued working and then went home, as surgeons battled for hours to save his victim's life.
Davison tried to claim the van had been stolen but he was soon found out and arrested.
In a statement to the court, the girl's mother said: "She dreamed of travelling to far away places. She was fiercely independent from an early age and loved gymnastics...she was turning into the most wonderful young lady with her whole life ahead of her."
Following the incident which changed everything, doctors battled through the night to save her, removing part of her skull to reduce pressure on the brain.
The girl's body was cooled, she was placed into an induced coma and ventilated and her loved ones were warned she may not survive the night.
Her mother said: "The number of machines, tubes and wires surrounding her was unbelievable."
Her daughter survived but, she added: "Our lives will never be the same. There's grieving for what we've all lost." (My daughter) is severely cognitively impaired...it's unlikely a return to mainstream school will ever be appropriate."
The girl becomes upset when she watches old social media clips of herself dancing with her friends, the court heard.
She was placed on medication after becoming suicidal, the judge was told and "plays the incident over in her mind."
The mother said: "This has changed our lives beyond recognition...it's a living nightmare impossible to get out of."
Meanwhile her daughter has now developed scoliosis - a curvature of the spine - and needs many more major surgeries.
Now aged 13, she has a pump inserted in her spine and cranial implants and needs help with toiletting and washing - much to her distress, the mother said.
It emerged that Davison, a recovery vehicle driver, had covered the on-board cab camera with foil, so it could not record his actions.
Ellie Fargin, prosecuting, said: "He would use a hand held mobile phone while driving - that's illegal. He was also seen driving with no hands on the wheel."
Davison - who was illegally looking at a map on his mobile phone when he mounted the kerb in Newbury - has previous convictions for similar offences.
While he was awaiting sentencing for this offence, he was convicted of a new charge of dangerous driving, having tried to flee police while driving uninsured.
Tom Horder, defending, said his client, who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, was deeply remorseful and added: "He knows saying sorry will never be enough."
Sentencing Davison, Judge Kirsty Real pointed out he had been convicted of using a mobile phone while driving in the days before the accident.
She added: "Your subsequent conviction for dangerous driving undermines your mitigation and expressions of remorse."
Davison will spend half the three-and-a-half years behind bars and the remainder on licence in the community.