Wales

Saltney hit-and-run 'coward' left boy severely hurt

Alfie Watts Image copyright Family Photo
Image caption Alfie remained in hospital for two months and is still receiving treatment for his injuries

A "cowardly" hit-and-run getaway driver who left a boy with a severe brain injury has been jailed.

Keegan Doyle, 23, of Broughton, Flintshire, was jailed for three years and eight months after admitting causing serious injury by dangerous driving and arson at Mold Crown Court.

Doyle struck ten-year-old Alfie Watts who was riding his bike in Saltney, near Chester, on 6 January.

Judge Niclas Parry said Alfie's life was "changed irreversibly".

Alfie was rushed with a police escort to Liverpool's Alder Hey children's hospital "fighting for his life" after suffering a fractured skull and brain injury.

Prosecuting Sion ap Mihangel said Doyle had been the getaway driver for a fleeing shoplifter.

Doyle "drove like an idiot" at up to 60mph in a 30mph zone, the court was told.

Image copyright North Wales Police
Image caption Keegan Doyle was the getaway driver for a shoplifter

Alfie and a friend were returning from playing football in a park when he was knocked over on Park Avenue, colliding with the windscreen of the Ford Fiesta.

The court heard in a statement from his mother Zoe Grundy how she ran to the scene and held her son's hand.

"It was heartbreaking to see my son lying in such pain," she said.

Judge Parry said Doyle did not brake or slow and described his failure to stop at the scene of the accident as "cowardly, selfish and disgraceful behaviour".

Doyle then tried to destroy the car by leaving a burning rag in the petrol tank but was caught after leaving his wallet, with his picture and name inside, by the car.

Defending, Robin Boag, said Doyle had no previous convictions. He added: "He can't turn back the clock. If he could, he would do so."

Doyle was also banned from driving for four years and ten months and must take a re-test.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Alfie was knocked over in Park Avenue, Saltney, after playing football

Judge Parry said: "On January 6 the life of a bright, active, happy ten-year-old boy was changed irreversibly."

He awarded £500 to passer-by Amy Fernandez for giving assistance which possibly saved Alfie's life.

In a statement, Alfie's family thanked those people who helped save his life.

They added: "We have been overwhelmed with the love and kindness that has been shown."

A 28-year-old woman who was also arrested in connection with the incident will appear before Mold Crown Court on 22 March.

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