Left for dead
Reporter: Erin Heywood
Date online: 21 March 2013
Woman, 74, in hit-and-run horror
AN uninsured driver who left a 74-year-old woman for dead after knocking her down in a busy car park and driving off has been jailed for three months and disqualified from driving.
Shirley Mason suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain after Brian Montgomery (20) collided with her last November. If she should ever be well enough to leave hospital she will need 24-hour care.
The horror unfolded when Montgomery drove himself and friends to Bardsley Post Office, Oldham Magistrates’ Court heard.
When his friends returned to the car he reversed to leave, but hit Mrs Mason. Driving without insurance and on a provisional licence, he drove off at speed down a grass embankment and across a footpath on to Ashton Road. Passers-by called an ambulance and Mrs Mason was taken to the Royal Oldham Hospital for life-saving brain surgery. Nursing staff believed she had fallen.
Mrs Mason was transferred to Hope Hospital and has been there ever since, with no recollection of the incident. Only when a family member went to the post office two days later to look at CCTV footage was it revealed she had been hit by a car. The film was given to police who traced the car to Montgomery’s address in Farm Road, Limeside.
The incident has devastated the former healthy and independent Mrs Mason’s family.
Her daughter, Carol, said in statement to the court there had been no improvement in her mother’s condition.
She said of Montgomery: “He left her for dead. He should have stopped. But he’s just a young boy who made a mistake.”
Montgomery pleaded guilty to failing to report an accident, driving without a licence, driving without third party insurance and driving without due care. He had also failed to admit he was driving after being asked by police to give the driver’s identity.
Sentencing Montgomery, District Judge Prowse said: “This was an error of judgement. You knocked over a 74-year-old woman and had no regard for her welfare. Her life has been irreparably damaged by what you did. You kept your head down and hoped to get away with it. This is about as serious as it gets.”
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