'Cowardly' motorist ran down reveller on busy Wakefield street then deliberately drove over him to escape

Danny Holmes was jailed this week for the hit and run on Wakefield's Westgate. (pic by WYP / Google Maps)
Danny Holmes was jailed this week for the hit and run on Wakefield's Westgate. (pic by WYP / Google Maps)

Initially landing on the bonnet of Danny Holmes’ white Vauxhall Astra, the victim’s head connected with such force that it smashed the windscreen. Holmes stopped and the man rolled off the bonnet in front of the vehicle. But instead of stopping, he then ran over the man as he fled, connecting with the front wheel, then the back.

Holmes, 45, was jailed at Leeds Crown Court this week after admitting causing serious injury through dangerous driving. Prosecuting the case, Adam Walker said the victim had been out with friends on the night of July 10 last year on Westgate in Wakefield.

At 3.35am he had been crossing the road towards Rafikees takeaway when Holmes “made no attempt to avoid him”, Mr Walker told the court.

CCTV showed the man landing on the bonnet before sliding off. Holmes then made off with the undercarriage of the car also scraping across his back.

Horrified door staff tried to stop the Astra but were unable to catch it. Mr Walker said: “He must have known what had happened and carried on. It was a cowardly and selfish attempt to escape.”

The man “astonishingly” was able to get to his feet and thought he had simply been assaulted by another. He was taken to Pinderfields first by the police, but was later transferred to Leeds General Infirmary's major trauma department.

He spent six nights in hospital and suffered a broken nose, fractured skull, chipped teeth, fractures ribs and injuries to his back. In a victim impact statement he said he continued to struggle physically and mentally due to his injuries.

Holmes, of Primrose House, William Street, Wakefield, was later arrested but “put up a fight”, Mr Walker said. He later told police he had panicked and driven off, but accepted he was driving dangerously. He has previous driving offences, but Judge Christopher Batty said he would not take them into account because he had stayed out of trouble for many years.

Mitigating, Michael Walsh said: “What can’t be explained is the panic that set in. To his credit, when interviewed he made full and frank admissions.” He said that Homes had been working for Royal Mail but had left the job and was now training to become a telecoms engineer.

Judge Batty told Holmes: “He was having a night out and his life has now changed in a really hideous way, and he did nothing to deserve that. I know what you did what out of panic, and you made a momentary stupid decision that you will regret forever. But it was such a dangerous thing to do.

"It could only have been apparent where he was, and apparent that you were running over him and you still did not stop. This was a deliberate decision to disregard the danger to him.”

He jailed him for 28 months, and handed him a driving ban of 44 months.