DCSIMG

Sunderland hit-and-run driver smashed woman 15ft into the air

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A HIT-and-run driver has been jailed after knocking a woman over as he drove the wrong way down a one-way street.

Victoria Cocklin was on the phone to her mum and only managed to say ‘mam’ before she was hit by Terence Connolly’s Vauxhall Golf and flung 15ft into the air.

The 27-year-old’s phone cut off after the smash in St Thomas Street, Sunderland, leaving her mum Carol Pipe worried and wondering what had happened.

Minutes later, Mrs Pipe, 52, received a call from a stranger saying her daughter, who had been on her way to work, was injured and lying in the city centre road.

Connolly – who was already banned from the roads – had simply asked “you all right love?” before driving off.

Miss Cocklin was left with soft tissue damage which led to complications and ended up needing surgery.

Connolly, of Ernwill Avenue, Sunderland, then sparked a police chase when officers who were looking for him, spotted him later that day.

He was arrested after the vehicle flipped on to its roof when he tried to drive over a roundabout to get away.

The 39-year-old pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, careless driving, dangerous driving and failing to stop and was jailed for 18 months at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday.

Judge Brian Forster QC told him: “The offences in their totality reveal a shocking disregard for other road users.

“What you did had a considerable impact on the victim.

“It is clear she suffered greatly as a result of what took place.”

Speaking after the hearing, Miss Cocklin said his sentence is a small price to pay for changing someone’s life.

She said: “This has had a massive impact on my life. It has completely changed my life, my personality has changed, everything.

“My injuries led to medical complications and resulted in an operation that I am still trying to recover from.

“I have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

“People who saw what happened said the way he acted was callous. I think everyone was scared of what he was going to do next because he must have seen me but just didn’t stop, he hit me.

“I had just said the word ‘mam’ when I was hit.”

Mrs Pipe, who supported her daughter at yesterday’s hearing, said: “I was thinking it was a joke at first but nothing was happening when I was trying to ring her back.

“I started getting worried and then a stranger rang and said my daughter had been hit.”

The mother and daughter both said the sentence was nowhere near harsh enough for what happened last July.

Bob Spragg, defending Connolly, told the court: “He apologises, through me, for the distress and harm he has caused to the victim.”

 
 
 

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