Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Banned Driver Who 'Wreaked Havoc' Jailed; Crash Left Mum and Son with Serious Injuries

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Banned Driver Who 'Wreaked Havoc' Jailed; Crash Left Mum and Son with Serious Injuries

Article excerpt

Byline: ROB KENNEDY Court Reporter rob.kennedy@ncjmedia.co.uk @ChronicleCourt

A DRINK driver who was already banned from the roads left a mum and son with life-changing injuries in a horrific Christmas Day crash.

Mechanic John Hemming was already banned from driving when he took a roundabout too fast while over the limit and lost control.

He careered into the car of James Kavanagh Dutschak, who was taking his mum, Elizabeth Dutschak, to visit family on what should have been one of the happiest days of the year.

The mum and son suffered "calamitous" injuries in the crash on Sandy Lane, a couple of miles north of Gosforth, Newcastle, and a court heard their lives have been terribly affected by Hemming's driving.

As the 21-year-old was locked up at Newcastle Crown Court, 19-year-old James outlined the impact the crash has had on him.

The undergraduate suffered a broken back, thigh bone and foot, spent two months in hospital undergoing operations and requires part-time use of a wheelchair as a result of his injuries. He has had to defer his university studies and may never fully recover. In his victim impact statement, James said: "This is a far cry from my life before.

"At the age of 19, life-changing circumstances have been brought upon me through a selfish and reckless decision of this individual.

"I spent two months of my life in hospital after and a further two and a half months recuperating. I have been unable to attend work or education.

"My life is severely restricted." The student said he now faces a life of uncertainties and no longer has the enthusiasm he did.

His mum, who was his passenger, suffered a broken breastbone, damage to her bowel and also needed repeated surgery.

She told the court she needs further surgery and said the crash has had a massive impact on the whole family. …

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