'Cowardly' motorist to be sentenced for leaving Barrow granddad injured after horror smash

15 August 2017 11:16AM

A DAD-OF-ONE is set to be sentenced after admitting a string of offences when he crashed into a motorist's car and ran away from the scene.

Callum Jake Wharton left dad-of-two Ray Hayes with a broken arm and needing a knee operation after crashing into his car at around 70mph in Friars Lane in Barrow on June 13 of last year.

While Mr Hayes' mangled Honda CR-V lay on its side, 22-year-old Wharton climbed out of his Ford Focus and ran off, leaving Mr Hayes trapped inside.

Police then obtained CCTV footage from the Shell petrol station in Abbey Road which showed him getting out of the driver's seat of the Focus and filling it up with petrol. The footage was recorded just 10 minutes before the crash in Friars Lane.

If he goes to prison, social services would have no other option but to take his son into care

When he appeared at Preston Crown Court in January, Wharton pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

Wharton has 12 previous convictions, including driving while disqualified and driving without insurance - offences which took place a month after the Friars Lane crash and saw Wharton locked up for 16 weeks.

At a previous hearing, defence barrister Miss Colette Renton said Wharton accepted his actions were "cowardly".

"He ran away because he was thought he would be in big trouble, he was very upset with himself thinking he had ruined his life," Miss Renton said.

"Like a rabbit in the headlights he was backed into a corner. He feels very bad towards the victim and would like to apologise to him."

 The overturned Honda of Ray Hayes

The overturned Honda of Ray Hayes

Miss Renton told the court that 21-year-old Wharton had recently taken sole charge of his four-year-old son.

The child's mother, who also has a nine-month-old baby with another man, had told Wharton she could not cope with the boy, who is undergoing assessment for autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

"If he goes to prison, social services would have no other option but to take his son into care," Miss Renton said.

Wharton was set to be sentenced in February but the judge, Simon Newell, reserved sentencing until social services decide if Wharton can have permanent custody of his son.

"You know you are walking on a tight-rope," the judge warned Wharton, adding that perverting the course of justice usually results in a jail term of between nine and 15 months.

Wharton, of Greengate Street, Barrow, will return to Preston Crown Court on Friday for sentencing.

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