The mum of a Doncaster woman who was left with a devastating brain injury when she was involved in a hit-and-run collision is calling for tougher sentences for dangerous drivers.
While Danielle Stoton’s fight for justice came to an end a year ago this week when the driver who ran her over was jailed, the brain damage she sustained in the collision will affect her for the rest of her life.
Danielle’s mum, Michelle Stoton, says her daughter has been deprived of being a normal 20-year-old, and adds that she believes sentences for dangerous drivers should reflect the physical and emotional damage that can be caused in a road traffic accident.
The driver in the collision, Sarah Livesey, was sentenced to eight months in prison in May last year and received a two year driving ban, after she pleaded guilty to causing injury by dangerous driving, dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident.
Michelle, of Harris Road, Armthorpe, said: “I think the criminal justice system is ridiculous if someone who has left Danielle with a brain injury that she will have for the rest of her life can receive a sentence of eight months, but someone who is found guilty of possessing cannabis can be given an 18-month sentence.
“It’s like with that crash in Askern, that sentence was far too low too. It’s time that sentences for dangerous drivers reflect the fact that a vehicle can be a fatal weapon.
“Danielle is making lots of progress. When I think back to where she was a year ago, and where she is now - where she’s getting up and going to the gym - things have got a lot better.
"But the damage is permanent and it’s incredibly difficult for her because she wants to be independent, but she needs to have her support worker with her most of the time.
“She gets frustrated, and can still get quite angry with things at times. Me and her dad Paul used to do everything together, but now we have to go out separately because one of us needs to stay with Danielle.”
Despite the incredible progress Danielle has made since the accident in August 2014, the determined 20-year-old still has to undergo several different forms of physical therapy weekly, and also struggles to use the left side of her body.
Due to the physical and emotional limitations the crash has left Danielle with she cannot be left alone at home for more than half an hour at a time.
“She is a fighter, but the fact is she is going to have to live with this for the rest of her life,” added Michelle.