Humberside

Motorbiker jailed over crash that left boy, 9, without leg

Max Clark Image copyright Kirsty Clark
Image caption Max Clark was a budding dancer and gymnast who was described as brave and courageous in court

A motorcyclist who hit a nine-year-old boy causing him to lose part of his leg has been jailed for three years.

Jerome Cawkwell struck Max Clark as he rode along a footpath in Rosmead Park, Hull, on 25 May.

Hull Crown Court heard Cawkwell, 24, was travelling "at a crazy speed" with a defective front brake and fled the scene after the crash.

He had previously admitted five offences including causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Image copyright Humberside Police
Image caption Dock worker Jerome Cawkwell fled the scene after driving his orange motorcycle on a footpath and hitting Max
Image copyright Crown Prosecution Service
Image caption Cawkwell's motorbike was later found to be "dangerous and un-roadworthy" with a defective front brake

The court heard Max was out with his family working on a school assignment when he was "propelled into the air" while crossing the path.

In the aftermath, the budding dancer and gymnast asked his father if "he still had his leg", the court was told.

His lower limb had to be amputated below the knee after it "became entangled in the machine" and the court was told he was "facing an uncertain future".

Sentencing Cawkwell, of Cambridge Grove, Hull, Judge John Thackray QC told him: "It was entirely a matter of chance that you did not cause death on this occasion.

"That you did not cause death but serious injury involving life-changing injuries to a nine-year-old child has a very significant impact on the sentence."

Image copyright Humberside Police
Image caption Max's father said Cawkwell had not only hurt his son but "ruined the lives of a lot more people"

"Max is undoubtedly an extremely impressive and courageous young boy. Nevertheless he has life-changing injuries, which will affect the rest of his life, and that feature of this case is at the forefront of my mind," the judge said.

Prosecutor Jeremy Evans said Max's father, Patrick Clarke, had explained how his son's life "will be hard".

Defending, Richard Thompson said his client was genuinely remorseful and was "unlikely to be involved in any risk-taking behaviour in the future".

Cawkwell was also handed a five-and-a-half year driving ban.

The charges

  • Causing serious injury by dangerous driving
  • Failing to stop after the incident
  • Driving without a licence
  • Using a vehicle without insurance
  • Using a vehicle not in efficient working order.

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