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Man jailed after causing "catastrophic" injuries to a Lower Gornal cyclist
12:07pm Monday 4th February 2013 in Local
A MAN who was behind the wheel of a powerful car which ploughed into a Lower Gornal cyclist, causing him "catastrophic" injuries has been jailed for 11 months.
Prison officer Richard Bennett was riding home on February 21 last year when he was hit in Soho Way, Smethwick.
The 42 year-old, who worked at Winson Green, broke his back in three places, shattered his right shoulder, sustained a dislocated right hip, a fractured nose, broken teeth and deep tissue damage after being hit by unemployed Matthew Hollingshead.
Rhiannon Jones prosecuting at Wolverhampton Crown Court said Hollingshead lost control of the Audi A3 in damp conditions and it struck the kerb and a wall before mowing down Mr Bennett.
An-off duty police officer thought he had seen the Audi racing and had turned to follow the vehicle, when he came upon Mr Bennett lying in the gutter some distance from the vehicle and his bike. Hollingshead of Meynell House, Handsworth admitted dangerous driving.
Simon Worlock defending, said Hollingshead accepted he should have checked the tyres after one was found to be bald while the others were defective with little tread, but maintained he had not been racing or speeding when he lost control of the car.
Mr Worlock, said: “He is very concerned to see the state that Mr Bennett is in and he fully accepts responsibility. No sentence, in fact nothing beyond science and strength of character will help the use of Mr Bennett's limbs."
Recorder Kevin Hegarty QC told Hollingshead, "You drove a car at speed on a damp surface whereby you lost control because of the state of your tyres.
"You struck the kerb, a wall and wrecked Mr Bennett who suffered multiple fractures. The harm you caused was catastrophic for him."