Rogue driver jailed after hit and run smash that left Hartlepool woman paralysed days before Christmas

An uninsured driver who left a woman pedestrian paralysed last Christmas was jailed for a year and disqualfied for two and a half years.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 2:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th November 2019, 12:01 pm

Andrew Kinlan, 49, from Hartlepool took a van without consent that had been hired by his wife and he slammed into Vicky Theasby, 38, as she crossed a road with her husband Darren. The couple were heading home from the Owton Manor Social Club on the night of December 23 last year when witnesses saw the Vauxhall van hit her, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Mrs Theasby, who was in hospital for four months, suffered brain injuries which still affect her sight and memory, she had metal plates inserted into her spine, and she has a full-time carer, said prosecutor Emma Atkinson.

She added: “She said she had been left permanently paralysed and will take medication for the rest of her life.

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Andrew Kinlan, 49, from Hartlepool took a van without consent that had been hired by his wife and he slammed into Vicky Theasby, 38, as she crossed a road with her husband Darren.

”Some days she is grateful that she is alive, but some days she cannot cope.

“It is a stark contrast between the person that she was. She suffers nightmares and it put a strain on her husband who she described as her rock.”

Miss Atkinson said that the collision sent Mrs Theasby flying through the air. Kinlan and a passenger got out of the van and he did not seem to be “fazed” by it, according to an eyewitness

Kinlan then ran off and witnesses tried to locate him without success. Police traced the registration number of the abandoned van and they found him at his home.

He passed a breath test for alcohol, but he said that he had taken cocaine the previous day.

He had previous convictions for dangerous driving and driving while disqualified and without insurance.

Matthew Collins, defending, said that Kinlan was devastated by the outcome for Mrs Theasby.

He was panicked by the reactions of others including her husband who shouted at him “What have you done?”

Kinlan, of Goldsmith Avenue, was jailed for 12 months and disqualified for two and a half years after he pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, driving without due care and attention, failing to stop, and driving without insurance and a licence.