Teenage boy needed four operations after being hit by off-road biker in Sunderland who 'laughed' and fled the scene

A teenager needed four operations after he was run down by an off-road biker who "laughed" as he drove away and left him injured at a quarry.

Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 4:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 12:43 pm

The-16-year-old victim suffered fractures to his ankle and knee cap after Nathan Yates slammed his motorbike into him on a path at the Carley Hill Quarry in Sunderland, which was used as a popular "recreational" area.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the quarry had become a regular haunt for off-road bikers who used the area's "naturally made ramps" for practice sessions, despite being warned off by the police.

The boy, who eventually recovered well physically but still carries psychological scars and has flashbacks, had been with a group of friends when he was hit on a pathway at the site in April 2018.

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Nathan Yates.

Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told the court: "He states when he made the defendant aware of the fact he had injured him he just laughed and rode away."

Mr Wardlaw said the boy suffered "lasting pain" after the collision and had operations to fit metal plates into the fractures, which were at each side of his ankle and his kneecap.

The victim was unable to leave the house for long periods and suffered reduced mobility when he was able.

Mr Wardlaw added: "This was a spring afternoon in an area well known and well used by the public. The defendant, through his plea, accepts he had no control over the motorcycle he was riding and caused a substantial risk of danger to other persons present."

Yates, of Chestnut Crescent, Sunderland, initially told officers he "hadn't a clue" about the boy being hit, but later admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Judge Tim Gittins jailed the 27-year-old for eight months and gave him a two-year road ban.

The judge told him: "The fact others chose to flaunt the clear and appropriate direction given by the police not to ride in that area does not absolve you of responsibility.

"You have accepted you knew the police had stopped other people from using motorbikes in the off-road fashion in that area.

"Moreover, you and those like you, who chose to ride in such an area, off-road, are not only creating a highly significant, if not substantial risk of injury, given the number of members of the public area, you and others like you need to appreciate, when the risk turns into actual fact and serious injury is caused, punishment will folllow."

Nicholas Lane, defending, said Yates is "genuinely remorseful" and penned a letter to his victim.

Mr Lane said: "He asks for forgiveness and states he deeply regrets the injuries that he accepts he caused."

He added: "The area was used by motorcyclists, although the defendant accepts it should not have been.

"He regrets very much his decision to use his motorcycle in the quarry on that day."

Mr Lane said Yates, who has no previous convictions, is a carer for his mother and has a long-term partner and family.