Jail for Dundee L-driver who fled scene after hitting teenager

Dundee Sheriff Court.
Dundee Sheriff Court.
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A learner driver who sped through quiet streets before crashing into a teenage woman as she crossed the road, leaving her with life-threatening injuries, before fleeing the scene has been jailed for two years.

Naomi Ahmed was left with multiple fractures to her legs, pelvis, arms, hands and ribs and was in intensive care for days after the incident.

John O’Neil denied driving dangerously and leaving Miss Ahmed, who was 19 at the time, seriously injured.

But a jury took just an hour to find him guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

They were then told O’Neil had previously been jailed for taking a car without consent and driving without a licence or insurance.

A three-day trial at Dundee Sheriff Court earlier heard O’Neil only had a provisional licence, had only had five driving lessons before the crash and had failed his driving theory test.

A sheriff said: “She was extremely lucky he didn’t kill her.”

He claimed he was only driving at between 25mph and 30mph when he smashed into Miss Ahmed – but witnesses told the court he was driving “like a boy racer” and “very, very fast”.

O’Neil stopped immediately after the crash and told a witness he did not see her before getting back in the car and speeding off, abandoning the car in the next street and making off.

Meanwhile, Miss Ahmed lay unconscious in the middle of Dundee’s Byron Street in a life-threatening condition.

Fiscal depute Vicki Bell told the jury that when Miss Ahmed was found on Dundee’s Byron Street she was “unconscious and only responding to pain”.

She added: “She was covered in blood on the face and blood was on the road.

“She had a chest injury, broken bones and ribs, a significant head injury, a suspected abdomen injury and a broken leg with the bone sticking out of her lower leg.

“She was sedated and taken to Ninewells Hospital and admitted to intensive care where a CT scan revealed bleeding on the brain.”

Three witnesses earlier told the jury they had seen O’Neil driving “above the speed limit” moments before the crash.

But O’Neil insisted he was driving only at “25 to 30 miles per hour”.

Sheriff Alastair Brown jailed O’Neil, 32, of Rosebank Street, Dundee, for two years and banned him from driving for five years.