Teen hit man, then drove off as 'he wasn't exactly dead or anything'
A TEENAGER who hit a pedestrian while illegally driving his girlfriend's car told police he drove off from the scene because the victim wasn't dead.
Unlicensed and uninsured James Churchill, 18, was interviewed the day after the accident on Lower Castle Street but only claimed "50 per cent" of the responsibility, criticising the victim for his lack of awareness.
Among the teenager's excuses for failing to stop was that he was frightened the suited recruitment consultant he struck may have had a knife.
Churchill, of Adams Land, Coalpit Heath, pleaded guilty at Bristol Magistrates' Court yesterday to five charges while Gemma Moore, now his ex-girlfriend, pleaded guilty to permitting him to drive.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
The court heard that Churchill had taken over the driving on their trip into Bristol from Yate because Moore had such a "terrible sense of direction".
Appearing in court separately from Churchill, Moore, also 18, from Somerset Avenue in Yate, said her "pushy and bossy" boyfriend had taken control of her vehicle on October 19, before hitting the pedestrian.
Prosecuting, May Li said Moore told officers: "He hit a man and I told him to stop. I was screaming at him to stop."
At a different hearing, Ms Li added that Churchill struck Daniel Lewis as he turned into Lower Castle Street.
She said: "Mr Lewis was half way across the road when he was struck. The defendant then continued to drive over his foot. He didn't stop."
Witnesses at the scene recorded the black Citreon C1's registration number but Churchill handed himself in to Trinity Road police station the following morning.
In interview, he gave police a variety of excuses: "I was going along when some big bloke ran out and jumped on the bonnet.
"I just drove off, he could have had a knife or something. He seemed all right to me. He wasn't exactly dead or anything."
He added: "I thought it was sensible for me to drive as she has a terrible sense of direction."
Representing himself in court, Churchill said his words were "twisted" in the interview.
Mr Lewis, a recruitment consultant, was left with bruising and swelling to his feet as well as damaged clothing and a broken phone.
In a statement from Mr Lewis read out to magistrates, he said he was more angry that the driver had fled the scene than at being hit.
Presiding magistrate Barbara Pinkerton banned Churchill, who has a provisional license, from driving for nine months and ordered him to do 60 hours of unpaid work in the community.
He was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and £300 in compensation of the total of £749 claimed by Mr Lewis for his suit, shoes and phone.
Moore was also banned from driving for one month and fined £130 for permitting Churchill to drive.