Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

However Long His Sentence Is, Amanda's Will Be for Life; Mother Speaks out on Horrific Aftermath of Devastating Hit-and-Run Which Left Daughter Disabled

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

However Long His Sentence Is, Amanda's Will Be for Life; Mother Speaks out on Horrific Aftermath of Devastating Hit-and-Run Which Left Daughter Disabled

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES BUTCHER

THE MOTHER of hit-and-run victim Amanda Richards has told how she misses the daughter she once knew.

Yesterday, the Chronicle reported how James Slater, 20, has been handed a nine-year jail term for mowing down Amanda on a Gateshead street.

Amanda spent months trapped in her childhood memories after the crash and is still battling to regain her normal life.

Today, Christine Johns, who has been by Amanda's side throughout her ordeal, said she fears she will never get her bubbly daughter fully back.

Although Amanda has made an incredible recovery - defying doctors' predictions to regain much of her memory and get back to work - she is still haunted by the crash which almost cost her her life.

"He has left my daughter with a disability," said Christine, of Lobley Hill, Gateshead. "However long his sentence is, hers is for life."

Newcastle Crown Court heard on Monday how Slater, with two young children in the back of the car, ploughed into Amanda in Market Lane, Swalwell, on March 27 last year. At the time, Amanda was dating David Fiddler, who the court heard had been dealing cannabis in the area.

He claimed Slater - then just 18 - owed him pounds 180 in drugs debts and the pair arranged to meet.

Slater appeared in a light blue car, with his aunt Dona Ferris in the passenger seat and her two children, aged 10 and eight, in the back.

A witness described seeing the car "take off" as it sped up and swerved towards Amanda and Mr Fiddler.

Mr Fiddler leaped out of the way but Amanda, who was riding a bike, was hit and thrown into the air, shattering the car's windscreen.

Slater, of Laurelwood Gardens, Lobley Hill, initially denied he had deliberately driven at Mr Fiddler and Amanda but pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent on the day he was due to stand trial. …

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