Elderly Northamptonshire bell-ringer left with "truly devastating injuries" in crash with lorry driver

A lorry driver has been jailed for dangerous driving after causing "life-changing" injuries to an elderly bell ringer, a Northampton court heard.

Wednesday, 20th September 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 12:02 pm
The court heard how the victim suffered "life-changing" injuries in the crash.

Victor Harris, 56, from Sandwell, was sentenced in Northampton Crown Court yesterday (September 19) after earlier pleading guilty.

Harris' lorry had been jutting out "dangerously" from the central reservation into the southbound carriageway at the Hulcote Turn, on A43 Northampton Road, near Towcester, on the evening of November 12, 2015.

As a result, the 67-year-old victim, who had been driving on the southbound carriageway with a passenger, crashed into the rear of Harris' lorry at around 70mph.

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Harri's lorry was jutting "dangerously" into the south bound carriageway at the Hulcote Turn on the A43.

A trauma surgeon described the resulting injuries as "some of the worst he'd ever seen", with complex fractures throughout his body while his right arm was "degloved" of soft tissue.

His Honour Judge Timothy Smith said: "It was dark and the sides of your vehicle were dirty. It would have been very hard to see. It was a clear danger.

"At 67, [the victim] had been at active, social man. He was a musical man who played piano and cello. He one of the county's leading campanologists [bell ringers] who had toured the world and was looking forward to enjoying his hobby in retirement. That was his passion.

"The impact of his injuries are truly devastating. He now needs constant care and help with even simple tasks like dressing. He is in constant pain. His wife has had to leave her job to look after him.

Harri's lorry was jutting "dangerously" into the south bound carriageway at the Hulcote Turn on the A43.

"That is the impact of your dangerous driving."

Harris had his face in his hands as the bell-ringer's injuries were read out, and his defence barrister said he "deeply regretted what happened that evening".

Harris was jailed for eight months and has been disqualified from driving for two years and four months.