Driver behind bars after he left his girlfriend with broken back in Sunderland car smash

Connar King
Connar King

A driver who broke his girlfriend's back in a car crash has been jailed - despite her plea for him to keep his freedom.

Megan Perry's spine was fractured in five places and her leg was broke in three places when her boyfriend Connar King lost control of his Mercedes during a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre at high speed.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 22-year-old driver smashed into two other cars on Roker Baths Road, Sunderland, last summer and debris from the impact was scattered 100m away.

King's Mercedes and a parked Peugeot he ploughed in to were both written off.

Miss Perry, who had been in the back seat of King's Mercedes, needed surgery to have her pack pinned and spent time in the high dependency unit at hospital.

After her release she needed a back brace and crutches.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how despite her horrific ordeal, Miss Perry did not want her boyfriend to be locked up and wanted him at home with her and their new baby.

Prosecutor Michael Bunch told the court: "She did not wish to give a statement against the defendant.

"They have a newborn baby together.

"She said 'I would ask the court to take a more lenient course of action, I need Connar at home with me and our baby."

King, of Broadsheath Terrace, Sunderland, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Judge Paul Sloan QC sentenced him to eight months behind bars.

The judge told him: "The grossly excessive speed at which you were travelling created a substantial risk of danger.

"That risk was realised in that your girlfriend sustained serious injury.

"This overtaking manoeuvre was embarked upon at a highly inappropriate location on that road.

"I bear in mind you are going to have to live with the fact you are responsible for these serious injuries to your partner.

"There is no victim impact statment from your partner, she has, however, indicated she would wish the court to take a lenient course, given your circumstances at home.

"Of course, I do have regard to her wishes but I also have a public duty to perform."

The court heard King had overtaken an Audi motor at up to 60mph on the 30mph stretch of road and spun out of control.

A parked Peugeot was pushed along a pavement and the crashed cars came to a halt just before a zebra crossing.

Mr Bunch said: "The Mercedes suffered extensive damage, losing a wheel.

"Part of the braking system was found in a nearby garden. The defendant was able to get out of the vehicle.

"His female passenger who had been seated in the rear and who told police at the time she had not been wearing a seat belt, was less fortunate."

The court heard Miss Perry was released from hospital on September 11 last year, two weeks after the crash, but still needed frequent appointments.

Jamie Adams, defending, said Miss Perry no longer needs crutches to help her walk.

Mr Adams said King accepts complete responsibility for the damage he caused that day and is of otherwise positive character.

Mr Adams said: "It looks like it was a momentary piece of bad driving when he wasn't properly thinking.

"It would be a terrible irony if the person who was injured quite badly was to suffer again.

"She is really quite upset about the prospect of what might hapen. She is hopeful the sentence will be suspended.

"If he had to lose his liberty, the person who was injured in all this will be injured again."