drink-driver is put behind bars

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A BRAVE mother, with just seconds to save her toddler’s life, threw him out of the way of a drunk driver speeding towards them, leaving herself to be struck by the out-of-control car.

The driver of the car, Mark Richards, 34, of Lindum Walk, North Kelsey, was nearly four times over the legal drink drive limit when he lost control of his Subaru Impreza and hit 40-year-old mother Yazmin Henderson causing her serious injuries. The court heard he was so drunk he could not even focus his eyes.

A judge at Lincoln Crown Court sentenced Richards to 18 months in prison for dangerous driving and drink-driving, saying the offences were serious and he would take “no mercy” on anyone who drinks and then drives dangerously.

Judge Michael Heath told the court – sitting at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on Friday – how Mrs Henderson was going for a walk in the village with two-year-old son Leo on July 3 this year when Richards mounted the kerb and sped towards them before crashing into a wall near the Grange Lane junction in North Kelsey.

He said: “So concerned was she that you were going to hit her little boy that she threw him out of the way. Had he been hit then the likelihood seems to me that he would have been killed or seriously injured.”

Prosecuting Andrew Scott described how Mrs Henderson thought to herself “oh my God he’s going to kill us” before throwing her son out of the way.

He said Mrs Henderson was side swept by the car and knocked to the ground – she suffered fractures to her ankle and two big toes and might never make a full recovery. She still cannot walk very far and has plates and screws in her ankle. And both mother and son suffered cuts, bruising and “significant psychological injuries”.

He told the court a villager – who rushed to the scene after hearing screeching and a car engine roaring – said the child was hysterical, half screaming and half crying.

The court heard Leo will not walk past the area where the incident happened and says “Mum, that car will get us” when he hears the sound of a car approaching.

Defending Sunhil Khanna said Richards was “upset, ashamed and sorry for what he’s done”. Richards had been drinking the night before the incident and on the day had been to the Winterton Show where he had drunk four cans of lager.

Mr Khanna said when Richards got into the car he felt he was okay to drive and cannot account for why he lost control, but believes he may have blacked out.

Mrs Henderson, from West Street, North Kelsey, said: “I hope he learns something from this. If you want to have a good time and drink, you have to be responsible.”

Mrs Henderson said she would like to thank staff at the hospital where she was treated and all her friends and family for their support.

Richards was also disqualified from driving for three years. He will have to retake his test and his driving licence was endorsed.