A SON and his dad have pleaded guilty to driving offences which led to a tragic accident that claimed the life of a pedestrian.
Carl Morris drove his dad’s Citroen Picasso without insurance on the way to his new job at NSK Bearings, in Peterlee.
But his world was changed forever when the car collided with Brian Ainscough, 30, who had stepped out into the road.
Durham coroner Andrew Tweddle last month ruled a verdict of accidental death after an inquest heard Mr Ainscough was nearly three times the legal alcohol limit for driving, and a combination of drink and drugs in his system could have impaired his balance and ability to judge oncoming traffic.
Carl Morris yesterday admitted causing the death of Mr Ainscough while driving without third party insurance.
His dad, Gary Morris, 37, admitted permitting the use of a vehicle without insurance.
Relatives of Mr Ainscough, of Wordsworth Avenue, Wheatley Hill, were too upset to speak to the Hartlepool Mail after the hearing. But Carl Morris expressed his remorse and described how the incident, on July 5, last year, had a lasting effect on him.
The 20-year-old, who was put on anti-depressants afterwards, said: “It’s ruined my life.
“My baby was five months old at the time and I was just starting a new job.
“I still think about it every single day and never speak about it to anybody.”
Gary Morris added: “It’s turned our lives upside down.
“It’s always going to be there, we didn’t want this to happen, if there was any way we could turn back time, we would.”
Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard that Carl Morris was driving the Picasso around 3pm on Thornley Crossings when he struck Mr Ainscough.
The court heard that Carl Morris told police Mr Ainscough had stepped out from behind some bushes and he tried to swerve but was unable to avoid him.
Prosecutor Heather Wilkinson read out a victim impact statement in which Mr Ainscough’s mother, Vera, said: “A mother should never have to go through losing her son and I still suffer flashbacks and still see Brian being worked on by the ambulance crew.
“It was the worst day of my life.”
Zoe Passfield, mitigating on behalf of both Morrises, said: “Both Carl and Gary Morris remain deeply affected by what happened and both believe they will continue to be affected for the rest of their lives.”
She said Carl Morris was making arrangements to have a hire car through work and in the meantime his father would give him lifts.
But on that day, his father was too ill to do so and Carl drove himself to work for fear of risking his new job.
She added that he had been insured on his father’s previous car, though was not for the Picasso, as his dad felt it was too large a car for him to drive.
District Judge Roger Elsey sentenced Carl Morris, of Shinwell Crescent, Thornley, to a 12-month community order with six months supervision and a two-year driving ban, with £85 costs.
Gary Morris, of Gore Hill Estate, Thornley, was fined £350, with £85 costs, a £15 victim surcharge and eight points on his licence.