Newport hit-and-run: Teen locked up for 'using car as weapon'

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Media captionCCTV footage shows the moment Cox's car strikes a number of people on Cambrian Road, Newport

A man who "used his car as a weapon" to run over two women after a night out has been locked up for 12 years.

McCauley Cox, 19, was found guilty of two counts of grievous bodily harm with intent on Thursday.

Cox, from Newport, hit Sophie Poole and Emma Nicholls outside a nightclub in the city on 29 April before reversing over them and driving over them again.

At Newport Crown Court on Friday, Cox was sent to a young offenders institution.

He was given 12 years for causing grievous bodily harm with intent, three years for causing serious injury through dangerous driving and three years for causing actual bodily harm, to be served concurrently.

Cox claimed he was trying to stop a fight involving his friends outside The Courtyard nightclub in Cambrian Road by driving his Ford C-Max at a man involved, but hit his victims, who are best friends, instead.

Image copyright Gwent Police
Image caption McCauley Cox seriously injured two women by driving over them

After speeding off, police found his car on fire in another part of the city and Cox was found in an attic.

Miss Poole needed specialist skin grafts and Miss Nicholls suffered a lacerated spleen.

Prosecutor James Wilson told the court: "This was a sustained and repeated assault."

In statements read to the court from both women, Miss Poole, 23, from Birmingham, who was left with severe scarring, said: "I feel self conscious every day.

"Doctors said it could take up to two years to heal but I'm still not sure if they will heal completely."

Image copyright Gwent Police
Image caption Best friends Sophie Poole and Emma Nicholls said Cox "changed our lives"
Image copyright Gwent Police
Image caption Sophie Poole was left with damage to 5% of her skin.

Miss Nicholls, 23, from Luton, said: "My spleen almost split in two and I was bed-bound for two weeks. At first I had to use a Zimmer frame to assist me walking."

Judge Daniel Williams called CCTV footage of the attack "truly horrifying", adding: "You are without doubt a dangerous young man.

"You have no remorse for what you did. You think you can do what you please whatever the consequences for others."

Nick Gedge, defending Cox, said his client expressed remorse and his life had gone "terribly off the rails".

Cox had been signed to a Football League club, but was convicted for leading police on a high-speed chase over the Severn Bridge, in which he crashed through a toll barrier.

He also served an 18-month sentence for possession of Class A drugs and was serving a community order for assaulting his girlfriend, who is pregnant with his child, which was dealt with three days before the car attack.

Kelly Huggins of the Crown Prosecution Service said: "McCauley Cox used his vehicle as a weapon and caused an incident which left his victims with serious injuries."

Cox was also banned from driving for five years after his release.

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Media captionThe car was left on fire in a Newport street

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