Appeal sees sick man freed to be with desperately ill mother
A JAILED man awaiting a kidney transplant can be with his desperately ill mother after being released from prison following an appeal.
Daniel Crawford was devastated when he was jailed for aggravated vehicle taking and feared he would never see his sick mum Jeanette again.
The 28-year-old spent six days in prison where officers had to take him for kidney dialysis treatment which he needs for three hours a day five times a week.
Last month he was jailed by Bristol magistrates for 12 weeks after pleading guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, failing to report an accident, and driving without a license or insurance. Just before he committed his offences Crawford, of Romney Avenue, Lockleaze had just learnt doctors could do no more for his mother who suffers with acute heart failure.
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His mother attended the hearing with her carer, and watched as her son was taken to the cells.
But after an appeal hearing on Friday at Bristol Crown Court he is free to be with his mum after his sentence was halved to six weeks and suspended for two years.
Crawford, who needs to be able to attend Southmead Hospital with in 15 minutes of a phone call, was born with Nephrotic syndrome where kidneys are damaged, causing them to leak large amounts of protein.
The promising footballer, who was signed on by Southampton aged nine and played for Bristol Boys, had both kidneys removed aged 13 after medics realised they were failing.
He had a kidney transplant aged 16 but developed Nephrotic syndrome again and two years had it removed.
Now he has around 15 hours a week dialysis, and can not drink alcohol, or pass water.
After the appeal a relieved Crawford told The Post that he accepted what he had done was wrong.
"I was in a bad place but accept that I needed to be punished as it was a stupid thing to do," he said.
"I was feeling very guilty about how what I had done was affecting mum and when I was jailed it was awful.
"I was really scared I wouldn't see her again."
During his appeal, Mary Cowie, on his behalf, said he had pleaded guilty immediately to the offences but seemingly given no credit for his plea.
She acknowledged his previous offence but added: "His life has changed substantially since he was 21.
"At that time he had a kidney but that transplant failed and his health is in a very fragile state.
"He receives dialysis five times a week and is on the waiting list for a transplant and needs to be able to get to Southmead Hospital within in 15 minutes of receiving a phone call."
Mitigating the day of the offences, Miss Cowie added: "The previous evening he had word from his mother saying there was nothing more doctors could do for her.
"Because of the state of his immune system he could not be around her so he was in a very unhappy place.
"He had moved away from days of getting in trouble six years ago and the six days he did spend in custody, for someone so ill and worried for his mother, were very hard.
"Every day he was in there he was worried that he may never see his mother again."
Beforehand Paul Ricketts opening the case said Crawford had taken the Peugeot car belonging to his friend Lloyd Ryan after a house party in Horfield on October 21.
The court heard that in St Paul's, Crawford, while attempting to reverse the vehicle, scraped the side of a taxi.
Later when police stopped the vehicle in St Nicholas Street he attempted to reverse but stopped when an officer hit the windscreen with his extendable baton. The car lurched forward and struck the bumper of the police car.
He told police officers he had decided to take the car because he wanted to get home.
Mr Ricketts said Crawford had one relevant similar offence committed six years ago.
Sitting with two magistrates Judge Julian Lambert told Crawford: "We are going to suspend your prison sentence.
"The future is now in your hands."