Cocaine-fuelled driver jailed three years after hitting six-year-old

Cocaine-fuelled driver jailed three years after hitting six-year-old

May 28, 2021

Cocaine-fuelled Mercedes driver, 24, is jailed for three years after ploughing into cyclist, six, at 60mph in crash that left boy with bleed on the brain

  • Cocaine-fulled Harry Summersgill, 24, struck Noah Herring, six, with his vehicle
  • Summersgill has been jailed three years, with a six and a half year driving ban
  • Youngster suffered a bleed on the brain but is expected to make a good recovery

A driver who ploughed into a six-year-old boy after taking cocaine and then failed to help the injured youngster as he suffered a bleed on the brain has been jailed three years. 

Harry Summersgill, 24, drove into Noah Herring, six, with his Mercedes Benz before smashing into a bus stop as he travelled at more than two times the 30mph speed limit.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the driver then stood back and did nothing to help the injured boy, following the 7am collision in Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham. 

Noah was rushed to hospital suffering a bleed on the brain as well as fractures to his lower left leg and his collarbone.

Following the collision, Summersgill described the crash as a ‘simple accident’ and admitted having cocaine still in his nose.

But in a statement, Noah’s father James told Summersgill that he had turned his back on him and Noah, not caring if he was alive or dead.

Harry Summersgill, 24, drove into Noah Herring, six, while travelling at more than two times the 30mph speed limit in Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham

Mr Herring said: ‘Noah was exactly where he was supposed to be that morning in front of his dad listening to instructions.

‘You Harry however were not, you were too caught up in your own selfish act of self-destruction to care about the consequences of your actions for anyone or anything around you.’

Susan Hirst, prosecuting, told how Noah and his father had been on an early morning bike ride to Preston Park when the collision occurred on Sunday, February 28.

She said his father, who was wearing a camera to film their journey, usually took their bikes in the van but had decided that Noah was fit enough to cycle the whole route.

Ms Hirst said Mr Herring had planned out the route carefully to make sure Noah, who was wearing his helmet and high visibility vest, was safe.

She said: ‘He has taken every precaution he could to look after Noah.’

The court in Middlesbrough heard how Summersgill, who was also taken to hospital, had been driving at more than 60mph on the 30mph road. Pictured: Summersgill’s Mercedes Benz

The court heard how the pair were cycling in the cycle lane on Yarm Road, shortly after 7am, when Mr Herring heard a noise from behind him which sounded like a speeding car.

Ms Hirst said that he looked over his shoulder and saw a Mercedes speeding towards the two of them.

She said: ‘It was travelling across the bus lane and in the cycle path.

‘Mr Herring heard a bang and heard the car crash into the bus shelter, taking Noah with it.

‘There was dust and debris and initially Mr Herring could not see where his son was.

‘He realised Noah was on the ground. He thought that he had not survived.’ 

Ms Hirst told the court that Noah opened his eyes but appeared to be in ‘terrible pain’.

She said that a nearby resident, who was a nurse, came out to help and a woman said to her ‘We have hit a kid’.

Ms Hirst said she saw a metal pole through the front of the windscreen and the back window was smashed.

She added how the nurse saw Summersgill, who was dressed in dark clothing, standing back and not offering any help.

Summersgill, who appeared in court via video link to Durham prison, let out a relieved sigh as Ms Hirst told the court that Noah, who did not require surgery, does not expect to have suffered any long term physical effects from the injuries.

The court in Middlesbrough heard how Summersgill, who was also taken to hospital, had been driving at more than 60mph on the 30mph road.

She said: ‘The defendant’s response to his arrest was that it was a simple accident.’

Officers found a bong known for smoking cannabis inside the vehicle, which was owned by the other woman at the scene, passenger Laura Webster.

Ms Hirst said that Ms Webster told police how they had previously been to Tesco to buy a bottle of vodka, they had both consumed drugs and Summersgill had taken cocaine.

She said: ‘When this was put to him he did not dispute it, saying he could feel cocaine in his nose.

‘I stated he had taken drugs for approximately 10 years for what he describes as a release.’

During his victim impact statement, Mr Herring said he mentally struggled to deal with everything that morning, but mostly Noah’s injuries.

He said: ‘I have had to tell him everything is going to be OK when I didn’t know it was going to be.

‘I slept my his side every single night for four weeks due to us not wants to leave each other’s sides.’

He told Summersgill: ‘This is not a simple accident. 

‘The biggest question I ask myself now is can I protect my son from someone like you?

‘I live by the fact that Noah is still with us by some miracle.

‘I hope your punishment will affect your life as you have affected mine.

‘You may not have taken my life that day but you have taken my spirit.’

In her victim impact statement, Noah’s mum Samantha told the defendant: ‘I hope you have seen the harm you have caused Noah, myself, his father, his siblings and your own family.’

She told him that she hoped he would never put another family through this again and Noah returns to the carefree child he was before the accident.

She repeated: ‘This is not a simple accident.’

Summersgill, of Whitehouse Croft, in Long Newton, Stockton, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving at a previous hearing.

Paul Green, defending, told the court: ‘Remorse has been demonstrated within the case.’

Judge Howard Crowson said: ‘I’m relieved to hear that the doctors say he will make a good physical recovery. That’s remarkable given what happened and wonderful.’

He told Summersgill that describing it as a simple accident ‘couldn’t be further from the truth’.

The judge said: ‘It’s a clear deliberate decision to ignore the rules of the road.’

Judge Crowson sentenced Summersgill to three years behind bars.

He also banned him from driving for six-and-a-half years.

Inspector David Williams, of Cleveland Police, said: ‘When Harry Summersgill got behind the wheel, highly intoxicated by drugs and speeding at over 60mph on a 30mph road, he had no regard for the danger he posed to anyone else.

‘Harry went on to hit a six-year-old boy at excess speed and caused him serious injuries, which fortunately did not turn out to be fatal.

‘The trauma impacted on this family as a result of Harry Summergill’s actions has been immeasurable and I hope they can find some comfort in the knowledge that he will now serve a lengthy sentence behind bars.

‘Driving under the influence of drugs is absolutely unacceptable and we will continue to target those we suspect of driving under the influence through intelligence-led policing.’

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