Drunk driver McSorley jailed for injuring girlfriend

Londonderry Crown Court
Image caption McSorley was sentenced at Londonderry Crown Court

A 20-year-old man has been jailed for four years for a crash which left his then girlfriend permanently brain damaged.

Conor McSorley from Rathbeg Crescent in Limavady, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily injury to the woman by careless driving while drunk.

The victim, who was 28 at the time of the crash, now requires 24-hour care.

McSorley also admitted driving while disqualified and without a licence.

Londonderry Crown Court was told that on the night of 20 December 2017, McSorley lost control of the car he was driving along the Maydown dual carriageway heading towards Eglinton.

The car hit a kerb, overturned and struck several trees before ending up in a ditch.

When the police arrived and tried to establish the identity of the victim to inform her family, McSorley denied knowing her.

He told two women who stopped at the scene of the crash that he was not the driver and was out for a walk when he saw the car crash.

'Unacceptable behaviour'

The judge told the court the victim's parents now shared caring responsibilities for their daughter.

"The injuries she sustained were life changing in every way," Judge Babington said.

"Her mother said she was a fun loving and active girl prior to this accident but now requires someone to be with her all the time."

Sentencing McSorley, the judge said his behaviour at the scene of the crash was "unacceptable and did him no credit".

"The police wanted to contact the injured party's family and his behaviour only delayed that process."

McSorley was also disqualified from driving for five years.