Manchester

Leo Durrington: Teenager who ran over toddler detained

Leo Durrington Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Leo Durrington was holding his mother's hand when he was hit by the stolen van

A 16-year-old who left a young boy fighting for his life in a hit-and-run crash has been detained for a year.

The teenager was in a Ford Transit van being pursued by police when he lost control and hit three-year-old Leo Durrington in Leigh, Greater Manchester, on 30 October.

He was arrested two hours later when he told police he planned to hand himself in "after watching Love Island".

The teenager admitted dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.

He also admitted handling stolen goods, driving without a licence and driving without insurance, and was sentenced at Wigan Youth Court to a 12-month detention and training order.

A 15-year-old boy, who was in the van at the time, pleaded guilty to allowing himself to be in the stolen van and was sentenced to a 12-month referral order.

The court heard the long-term prognosis for Leo, who is still in hospital, was not fully known and he may suffer "cognitive issues".

Image copyright GMP
Image caption The 16-year-old reached speeds of up to 60mph before he lost control of the Ford Transit van

Greater Manchester Police said the older teenager bought the stolen van for £300 the day before the crash.

The van's number plate triggered an automatic alert when it passed a police car on patrol on Wigan Road at 10:35 GMT on 30 October and was pursued by the officers.

The court heard the teenager reached speed of up to 60mph before he lost control of the van at the junction of Leigh Road and Wigan Road.

CCTV footage played in court showed Leo holding his mother's hand before the van mounted the pavement and catapulted him 55ft (17m) across a pub car park.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Leo's mother said: "I really thought my boy had gone."

Making reference to the footage, District Judge Mark Hadfield said: "What then happened was the most tragic footage one could wish to see."

GMP previously said it had referred the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

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