Driver who ran over pedestrian TWICE outside pub avoids prison

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court

A driver who ran over a pedestrian TWICE after he failed to see him lying in a Calderdale street has escaped an immediate jail sentence.

A court heard how pub-goer Lee Shanks suffered a broken pelvis and serious internal injuries when he was run over during the early hours collision after a night out in Todmorden.

A judge at Bradford Crown Court was shown CCTV footage which captured the moment Mr Shanks fell to the ground in Bridge Street a few seconds before David Farnaby drove over him in his Land Rover Discovery.

After feeling a "bump" under his vehicle Farnaby reversed the Land Rover and collided with another car which had pulled up behind him.

Farnaby, 30, then drove forwards again before parking his vehicle in a lay-by as nightclubbers and other members of the public went to the aid of the badly injured Mr Shanks.

Prosecutor Anthony Moore said Farnaby, who was described as looking shocked, remained at the scene for about five minutes, but he then drove off in the Land Rover.

Mr Shanks, who is understood to be in his 40s, was rushed to the major trauma unit at Leeds General Infirmary where he remained for 11 days.

Mr Moore said the complainant had been drinking at the White Hart pub in Todmorden, but his next memory was waking up in hospital.

Following the incident in the early hours of February 11, Farnaby was seen getting out of the Land Rover and being picked up by two other men in a Vauxhall Astra.

Mr Moore said when police officers went to Farnaby's home he claimed that he had sold the Land Rover a few weeks earlier and denied being out of his house that night.

But the defendant later accepted hitting Mr Shanks and panicking during his police interview.

Last month Farnaby, a welder and steel erector, pleaded guilty to charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident.

His barrister Charlotte Johnson said Farnaby accepted he had been driving "too fast" for the circumstances that night, but not excessively fast.

She said it was obviously dark at the time and Mr Shanks had been wearing dark clothing.

"He simply didn't see Mr Shanks in the road when he ran over him for the first time," said Miss Johnson.

She said her client stopped after feeling a bump and he was shocked when he collided with the other car as he reversed to see what he had hit.

"Of course during that whole incident Mr Farnaby wasn't aware he had run over a person," she added.

Miss Johnson said Farnaby was "thoroughly ashamed of himself" and described it as an incredibly sad case for everyone involved.

She told Judge Colin Burn that an immediate jail sentence would severely affect Farnaby's work and family

"He understands that he has caused a devastating effect to Mr Shanks' life and that of his family and he tells me he couldn't be more sorry," said Miss Johnson.

Judge Burn sentenced Farnaby to 12 months in jail, but after considering the level of dangerousness of his driving that night he decided the prison term could be suspended for two years.

Farnaby was also banned from driving for two years and ordered to take an extended driving test before lawfully driving on the roads again.

The judge said the defendant would also have to pay £1200 costs.

Judge Burn described Farnaby's attempt to cover his tracks after the collision as "unattractive", but he said the defendant had been a hard-working family man.