‘It’s disgusting’: Sunderland schoolgirl left in tears as Hartlepool hit-and-run driver avoids jail

A schoolgirl left lying in the road when she was mowed down by a hit-and-run driver burst into tears when she heard the woman had escaped a jail term.

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 05:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 14:23 pm
Sunderland RTA victim Bobbie Tighe in her Rawdon Road home. Picture by FRANK REID

Bobbie Tighe was knocked down on Redcar Road in Red House last November as she crossed the road on her way home from school.

Joanne Beven was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years after a hit-and-run which left Bobbie Tighe seriously injured.

The 10-year-old, who goes to Southwick Community Primary, has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and suffers panic attacks, with counselling sessions lined up to help her.

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Meanwhile, Joanne Beven, 41, of Helmsley Street in Hartlepool, was given an 18 month prison term, suspended for two years, after admitting driving while disqualified, having been banned for 18 months by a court in October 2017, causing serious injury by driving whilst disqualified.

She also pleaded guilty having no insurance, failing to report an accident and to produce certificate of insurance, failing to stop after a road accident and permitting danger of injury due to her vehicle.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Beven, who is a mum, was tracked down by Bobbie’s mother Samantha. The car was found on a driveway, missing a wing mirror, which had been left at the scene, with its number plates removed.

Bobbie Tighe with her parents Samantha and Jeffery as she recovered from the incident.

The judge, Recorder John Aitken, said he had taken into account Bobbie’s recovery as he passed sentence, as well as Beven’s mental health difficulties.

Today, Samantha, 28, who is married to Vantec fork lift truck driver Jeffrey, 32, and also mum to Grayson, 22 months, and Bree, 10 months, has spoken of the upset is has caused her girl.

Reacting to Beven’s sentence, she said: “It’s disgusting, when I told my daughter, she was devastated, she was crying about it.

“She feels it’s a long term thing for her, but it’s over for this woman.

“She’s been diagnosed with PTSD by her GP and her school. We’re looking to get lots of different professionals together to look at how to help her.

“She’s still so traumatised, she’s emotional, she questions everything, her personality before was bubbly and so outgoing, now she just wants to stop in, she doesn’t want to play out with her friends like she did.”

She said Bobbie’s school has been strong in its support for her, including one-to-one working and help so she could catch up with work she missed during her 12-week recovery, with a week of that spent in hospital.

“She’s been signed off by the physio and she’s just started to get back on the trampoline, which she loved before, and just being able to do that is absolutely fantastic,” Samantha, a support worker, added.

“But I was heartbroken, for Beven to have been disqualified in the first place, she didn’t learn her lesson.

“She’s a mum herself too, she didn’t show any maternal instincts after what she did.”