Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Driver Michael Bonfield jailed for hitting mother and toddler into air

A driver who hit a mother and her toddler in West Lothian causing them to be tossed into the air like dolls has been sentenced to just under 16 months.

Deborah Woodward was carrying her 19-month-old daughter when they were struck by disqualified motorist Michael Bonfield's speeding Renault Clio.

Brent Bissett, prosecuting, said both Miss Woodward and her daughter Courtney would be scarred for life.

Bonfield, 19, pled guilty earlier at Livingston Sheriff Court.

He admitted driving culpably and recklessly and colliding with Miss Woodward and her daughter to their severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of life.

He also admitted driving while disqualified and without insurance during the incident on 27 September 2012.

Young Offenders Institution

They both landed, seriously injured, on a grass verge beside Longridge Road, Whitburn, several metres away from the point of impact.

Bonfield was sentenced to 443 days detention in a Young Offenders Institution, just under 16 months, and banned from driving for 31 months.

Mr Bissett said Bonfield had been banned for drink driving shortly before the accident but had taken his car that day despite being uninsured.

When he hit the two pedestrians he was travelling at around 40mph in a 30mph speed limit and on the wrong side of the road.

He said that a just before the collision Bonfield was revving his engine and trying to overtake another vehicle.

He was forced to change direction sharply to avoid hitting a traffic island and - as his car swerved round the wrong side of a 'keep left' sign - he struck and injured both victims.

Serious abrasions

Mr Bissett said: "Miss Woodward received a number of extensive facial fractures to both her nose and skull.

"She also received a number of lacerations and bruising to her head, face and body, in particular a significant laceration to the middle of her forehead and cuts and abrasions to her hands and knees."

He said when she was seen by a doctor three months after the accident, the deep cut had not fully healed and she had been left with indentations on her upper and lower lips due to scarring caused by the incident.

The child was cut and bruised on her head, face and arms and suffered serious abrasions to her nose, forehead and the side of her scalp.

Glenn Fraser, defending, said his client had stayed at the scene of the crash to tend to his victims' injuries and had co-operated fully with police.

"It appears he's genuinely remorseful for what happened."

Passing sentence, Sheriff Graeme Fleming QC told Bonfield: "I take into account that you tried to provide aid to the woman and her child you'd injured."

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