Hit-and-run driver left 88-year-old woman seriously injured in Northamptonshire town centre

Motorist's suspended sentence after pensioner suffered broken pelvis, wrist and shoulder in crash that "changed her life forever"

Friday, 7th May 2021, 10:18 am
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 10:20 am

A driver who left an 88-year-old Northamptonshire woman with serious injuries after a hit and run has been given a 20-month suspended sentence.

Dion Simpson, aged 34, of Southfields, Rushden, hit the woman — named Joyce — when he reversed his blue Vauxhall Astra across the pavement in Rushden town centre in September 2018.

Instead of stopping to see if she was okay, Simpson drove off and left her with serious injuries including a broken pelvis, wrist and shoulder, and extensive bruising.

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Joyce was hit by Simpson's car reversing across the footpath in Rushden High street in 2018. Picture released by Northamptonshire Police.

CCTV showed Simpson heading back to the scene in High Street a short time after the collision to see what was going on, before driving away again.

The next day he sold the Astra but was arrested a short time later and subsequently charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving, perverting the course of justice and driving with no insurance.

Yesterday (Thursday) he was sentenced to a total of 20 months, suspended for 18 months, plus a six-week electronically-monitored curfew. The judge at Northampton Crown Court also disqualified him from driving for a year.

Lead investigator Detective Sergeant Mahesh Patel said: “Dion Simpson showed a staggering lack of remorse at the time of this incident — not only driving away from the scene a second time after establishing he had injured an elderly lady, but then selling his car the very next day in an attempt to evade our enquiries.

“The woman in this case, who is now 91 years old, has not fully recovered from her physical injuries and she may never recover from the emotional trauma of this incident.

“I hope Dion Simpson sincerely regrets his actions that day and the days following, and reflects on the very poor choices he has made.

“This case has been a complex one to investigate but I am pleased we got the right person and for the sake of this elderly lady, successfully brought him to court.”

In a statement, Joyce’s family said: “Joyce is a much-loved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister and aunty, whose life changed for ever following the road traffic accident almost three years ago.

“She walked to the shops as usual and as she returned home she was knocked down by Mr Simpson reversing into her before driving away. He left our mother lying on the pavement with life threatening injuries. Many kind people rushed to help her and call the emergency services.

“Our mother’s injuries were so extensive that she did not return home for three months and has not been able to leave her home unaided since.

“It is of great sadness to all the family that Joyce has endured such a horrific ordeal. To her enormous credit she has always been a very strong and determined lady and since the accident she has shown great fortitude to try and live as independent a life as is now possible.

“We would like to thank Northamptonshire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, in particular Detective Sergeant Mahesh Patel and Detective Constable Rae Pegg who have supported us, and the Crown Prosecution Service in successfully bringing this man to justice. We would also like to thank the medical services, witnesses and all the people who helped her.”