13-year-old boy crippled by 90mph biker
A MOTORCYCLIST caused a 13-year-old boy "catastrophic" injuries when he ploughed into him while travelling at up to 90mph in a 40mph limit.
A court heard Ross Warren was seen to be going "stupidly fast" before smashing his powerful Honda CB1300 bike into Ben Thompson, who was riding a push-along scooter over a crossing point on Bradley Stoke Way on a September afternoon last year.
The court heard the youngster suffered horrendous injuries, including partial paralysis, and is still in Frenchay Hospital today, 15 months after the collision.
All of Ben's limbs and his pelvis were fractured, he has been left with significant visual impairment and significant internal injuries.
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He remains in hospital, receiving a high degree of care and needing a wheelchair to move anywhere.
Father-of-two Warren, 44, an industrial door engineer of Foxborough Gardens, Bradley Stoke, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.
He was jailed for 14 months yesterday at Bristol Crown Court.
Judge Michael Roach told him: "There is nothing to suggest Ben was at fault. He had precious little opportunity at that high speed. An expert said if you had been travelling within the speed limit all of this may have been avoided.
"His life has been catastrophically affected by what you did. It is not just his life. His family have had their lives blighted by what you've done."
The judge also banned Warren from driving for six years and ordered him to take an extended driving test before taking to the road again.
He added: "There's no sense in which 14 months can reflect the devastation which you caused."
"I very much hope that Ben will improve and improve as much as he possibly can."
After the case, Ben's mum Liz gave The Post a statement which said: "We are pleased with the sentence given today and happy that it has been shown that Ben was not at fault.
"Our priority has always been Ben's welfare and care and we hope that he will be back home with us soon."
Rosaleen Collins, prosecuting, said Ben was using an informal crossing point when he was struck by Warren.
Witnesses told police the biker was "flying" along the road, travelling at a "stupidly fast" speed.
A prosecution expert estimated Warren rode at 68.5mph through a 30mph zone and 89.5mph through a 40mph zone before the smash.
A defence expert estimated his speed at 66mph in the 30mph zone and 77mph in the 40mph zone.
The court heard the bike travelled 63 metres – more than 200ft – on its own before coming to rest.
Miss Collins said: "This is grossly excessive speed.
"Many children were likely to be using all three pedestrian crossings there."
No mechanical defects were found on the motorbike, which had just been MoT tested in Keynsham.
Warren declined to answer police questions after taking legal advice, the court heard.
He had fines for speeding in 30mph zones in 2008 and 2009.
Ramin Pakrooh, defending, said nothing Ben could have done would have made a difference.
He said: "The speed robbed both of the ability to react."
Mr Pakrooh said his client had instructed him: "It doesn't matter what happens to me."
He said Warren had been wearing a tinted visor he had bought over the internet, which did not carry a British Kite mark, but it was speed, not lack of vision, which had brought about the collision.
Mr Pakrooh said his client's partner had been discharged from the Army and although she worked for First Bus, the absence of his income would put their home at risk.
The crash, along with an earlier incident in which an 11-year-old boy was knocked off his bike by a speeding driver, led to a campaign calling for action to make the road safer for pedestrians, supported by nearly 4,000 people.
A new light-controlled crossing was installed near the scene of the crash in October this year and a 30mph zone extended.