Two men sentenced after stealing a car from Formby and causing a serious RTC in Aigburth
Dad feared his daughter was dead when their van was hit by a stolen car from Formby speeding at 80mph whilst being chased by police.
Natasha Pratt, 13, was knocked out when an Audi A6 smashed into the passenger side of her dad Paul’s Mercedes in Aigburth Road. She suffered “catastrophic” injuries, including a broken pelvis, which has left her bedridden.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that Mr Pratt, 48, told police: “I thought she must be dead. There was no way she could have survived.”
The Audi’s driver Elias Morgan, 26, collapsed with a broken kneecap, but his passenger Lee Browne, 29, fled the scene.
Recorder Rachel Smith today jailed Morgan for three years and five months and Browne for 12 months.
The judge said: “Mr Pratt, and particularly his daughter, suffered terrible injuries. The consequences have resonated through their lives and the lives of everyone around them and will continue to do so.”
Merseyside Police received a call at 3:14am on Wednesday 24th August and attended the scene of a burglary on Ennerdale Road in Formby.
An unknown number of intruders broke into the property whilst the homeowners were sleeping, took the keys and stole the Audi S6 car which was parked on the driveway.
Police were alerted to the car, now with cloned plates, at around 4.45pm on Saturday, September 3rd. Officers in an unmarked Volvo followed the Audi to Aigburth Road, which was busy due to Fusion music festival. But Morgan, of Highgate Street, Edge Hill, and Browne, of Carno Street, Wavertree, spotted them and Morgan drove the wrong way up Jericho Lane.
CCTV footage showed the Audi “fishtailing” as it rounded the corner and then reached an average speed of 75mph on the 30mph road. Mr Pratt and his daughter were waiting to turn right into Aigburth Hall Avenue. The dad saw the road was clear and began to turn, only for the stolen Audi to suddenly appear and slam into their van. The impact sent both vehicles flying up in the air, with one witness describing the Audi as being a metre off the ground.
Mr Pratt said he thought his daughter, who was covered in blood and glass and “limp like a rag doll”, must be dead. He fell out of the car and pulled open her door, before screaming for help as an elderly couple rushed to their aid. His daughter underwent a six-hour operation for a complex pelvic fracture and broken right leg. The teen suffered a broken nose, head wound, internal injuries, face and leg scars, and spent four weeks in hospital. She is now confined to a hospital bed and wheelchair in the family’s living room and is cared for by her mum.
Mr Pratt sustained four broken ribs, a damaged lung and extensive leg injuries.
Morgan, who attended court on crutches, gave false details to the police and refused to give fingerprints. He made no comment when interviewed. Browne, who was carrying a bag, ran through gardens and removed a top he was wearing, but was caught nearby.
He claimed he did not realise the car was stolen and fled in shock.
They admitted aggravated vehicle taking, while Morgan also admitted two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. Morgan is a convicted drug dealer who was on licence, having been released from a 10 year sentence for robbery.
Desmond Lennon, defending, said the dad-of-one was “profoundly sorry”.
He said: “He will have to live with the knowledge that he has caused great harm, distress and sorrow to the Pratt family.”
Mr Lennon said his client borrowed the stolen car to drive to Fusion Festival and “panicked” when he saw police. Browne has four convictions for dangerous driving. He was also on licence, after being jailed for burglary.
Anthony O’Donohoe, defending, said Browne was going to collect his young son and made the “foolish” decision to accept a lift in a stolen car. He said his girlfriend was now pregnant and his client apologised for the “devastating consequences”.
Recorder Smith banned Morgan from driving for six and a half years and Browne for 30 months.
Merseyside Police welcomed the sentenceing in a statement released last week.
Merseyside Police today, Monday 24th October, welcomed the sentencing of two men following a road traffic collision in Aigburth. Elias Morgan, 26, of Highgate Street, Edge Hill, was jailed for a total of three years and five months after pleading guilty to two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and aggravated unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle. He was also disqualified from driving for a period of six-and-a-half years.
Lee Browne, 29, of Carno Street, Wavertree, was jailed for 12 months after pleading guilty to being carried in a stolen vehicle. He was also disqualified from driving for two-and-a-half years.
The charges follow a road traffic collision on Aigburth Road at 4.55pm on Saturday 3rd September when a stolen Audi S6 with cloned plates was in collision with a Mercedes Vito van.
The occupants of the van, a man and a teenage girl, suffered chest and leg injuries and were taken to hospital. The teenage girl has since been released and is continuing to recover at home.
Morgan and Browne were both detained nearby. They pleaded guilty to all offences and were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court. Detective Inspector Ian Warlow said: "Merseyside Police is committed to reducing the number of people killed or injured on our roads and we are determined to target motorists who flout the law and recklessly endanger lives. “The collision happened on a busy road on a Saturday afternoon when there would have been lots of vehicles on the road.
“Two people were seriously injured but thankfully are continuing to make a recovery. I am pleased to see the severity of this offence has been reflected in today’s sentencing.”
Photo of the car from Liverpool Echo