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Norwich 'boy racer' jailed after seriously injuring four friends who had just picked up a McDonald's

PUBLISHED: 16:23 22 September 2016 | UPDATED: 13:23 23 September 2016

Danny Wright at Norwich Crown Court.
Picture: STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Danny Wright at Norwich Crown Court. Picture: STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Archant Norfolk 2016

Four victims of a "boy racer" whose lives were shattered after they were seriously injured in a crash made a heartfelt plea for motorists to think more about how their driving could ruin lives.

Danny Wright, 24, overtook a car and motorbike on the Boundary Road, Hellesdon, and was driving about 68mph in a 40mph zone just before his Ford Mondeo collided with a Vauxhall Corsa pulling out of McDonald’s.

Norwich Crown Court heard how it was a “miracle” no one was killed. The driver of the Corsa, Edward Mayhew, 23, who had just picked-up a takeaway from McDonald’s with his friends before the crash, suffered a ruptured spleen and kidney, along with other injuries and his three passengers, also suffered serious injuries with one passenger Kirsty Barber, 20, having a clot to the brain which caused a stroke and temporary loss of use to the left side of her body. The court heard she still has numbness in her left hand.

Michaela Brighton, 20, was in a coma after the crash and had to spend time in a wheelchair, and Liam Henning, 23, also had a lacerated spleen and chipped teeth.

The victims are still coming to terms with the accident both physically and mentally but were in court to see Wright, of Reepham Road, Hellesdon, jailed for two years after being convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving on May 10, 2013. He was also given a four year driving ban.

The court heard that Wright had two previous convictions for speeding.

Jailing him, Recorder Alasdair Wilson said: “You accept in those days you were a bit of a boy racer.”

He added: “Your driving was stupid. You had a number of convictions for speeding, one of them a year or so before this accident.”

However he accepted that Wright now felt remorse and had matured since the crash.

‘It has been a salutary lesson to him’

“Boy racer” Danny Wright who was convicted of dangerous driving now accepts his actions had been “stupid”.

His barrister Matthew McNiff said that in an impact statement from one of the victims she said she did not know why Wright had driven in such a stupid way and said that no sentence would repair the damage he had done to their lives.

He said that Wright himself now accepted his driving that evening had been “stupid.”

“He through me wants to offer an apology. He has spent a great deal of time thinking about his stupidity and the consequences of what he did that night.”

He said that in the three years since the accident he had grown-up: “He has recognised his own failings and sought to address them. It has been a salutary lesson to him.”

‘Dangerous driving will not be tolerated’

The victims and their families said that the two year sentence offered some justice and helped re-inforce the message to motorists that dangerous driving would not be tolerated.

In a statement, a spokesman for the victims, said: “Today’s verdict will re-inforce to Danny Wright and others that dangerous driving will not be tolerated. It is likely that the four victims will suffer life-long physical and psychological effects as a result of the collision that no given number of years in prison will ever make up for.

“We urge all drivers to consider the potential consequences of driving dangerously and think carefully about how they would feel if it was their loved one left seriously injured after being hit by a speeding driver.”

The victims also had special praise for the police and medical staff who helped save their lives by their “quick response.”

Charity skydive

One of the brave victims Michaela Brighton, shaved off her hair for charity after her injuries from the accident meant she could not take part in a skydive in memory of her uncle.

Michaela, who spent two months in hospital following the crash was supposed to do a skydive in 2013 for the Neuro Foundation.

One of the side effects of the drugs she was given following the crash was hair loss and as she was not well enough to do the skydive she had her hair shaved off instead.

The former Open Academy student raised hundreds of pounds in memory of her late uncle Barry Wilson, who died from Neurofibromatosis aged just 24, in 2005.

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