Hit and run biker sentenced for causing nine year old gymnast life-changing injury

|News, Driving offences

A hit and run motorcyclist who ploughed into a nine year old gymnast, resulting in his lower leg being partially amputated, has been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment at Hull Crown Court today. He has also been handed a driving disqualification of five and a half years.

Jerome Cawkwell (24) who was unlicensed and uninsured at the time of the incident, collided with the nine year old whilst riding a motorbike on a public footpath at Rosmead Playing Fields, off Southcoates Lane, Hull on 25 May this year.

The child was with his family, enjoying socially-distanced exercise with friends on the late May Bank Holiday.

Cawkwell was observed driving at estimated speeds of up to 40 miles an hour on the public footpath. He was not wearing a crash helmet, and the motorcycle was later found to be dangerous and unroadworthy, with clearly defective front brakes.

Cawkwell collided with the child, whose leg became entangled in the machine. The youngster was dragged along  before being propelled into the air, and hit his head on the ground. Cawkwell then fled from the scene on the bike and later tried to conceal the motorcycle to avoid detection.

The nine year old suffered life-changing injuries in the incident, and has since undergone a medical amputation of his leg below the knee.

His father heard and saw the whole incident, and the rest of the party, including a small girl, witnessed it in whole or in part.

Jeremy Evans from the CPS said: “On 25 May, the family embarked on a happy family outing with their friends. The day was to end in tragedy when their little boy, a promising gymnast, was mown down before their eyes.

“Cawkwell’s reckless and cowardly behaviour that day has resulted in a young boy’s life, and that of his family, being forever changed.  

“It is hard to put into words the agony and trauma this incident has caused.

“This little boy has undergone unimaginable suffering with great courage and fortitude.

“Cawkwell by contrast, acted with supreme cowardice, fleeing the scene rather than facing up to what he had done. He has now been sentenced to three years in prison.

“I hope he spends that time reflecting on the depth of the tragedy he has inflicted on this boy and his family.”

Notes to editors

Jerome Declan Cawkwell (24/7/95) pleaded guilty before Humber Magistrates Court on 27 May 2020 to a total of five charges:

  • Causing serious injury by dangerous driving
  • Driving without insurance
  • Driving a vehicle with defective brakes
  • Driving a vehicle otherwise than in accordance with a licence
  • Failure to stop after an accident

Jeremy Evans is a Senior Crown Advocate with CPS Yorkshire and Humberside.

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