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'I am so sorry' - teen drink driver who hit pedestrian and fled scene loses licence

PUBLISHED: 15:06 26 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:08 26 April 2019

Charlie Gill was driving his brothers Volkswagen Polo when he struck James Barnes as he attempted to cross the road in Holt on April 5 this year. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Charlie Gill was driving his brothers Volkswagen Polo when he struck James Barnes as he attempted to cross the road in Holt on April 5 this year. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2016

A teenage drink driver crashed into a wall after hitting a pedestrian and fleeing the scene, a court heard.

Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Denise Bradley.Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Denise Bradley.

Charlie Gill was driving his brother's Volkswagen Polo when he struck James Barnes as he attempted to cross the road in Holt on April 5 this year.

The 19-year-old, of Clipstone, Fulmodeston, Fakenham, drove off, but later crashed into a garden wall.

His 22-year-old victim suffered a fractured fibula from the impact.

Prosecutor Josephine Jones told Norwich Magistrates' Court on Friday (April 26) that Gill had been drinking with his brother in a pub prior to getting in the car.

She said: “It would appear they had arranged for a lift home, but that did not materialise, so the decision was made that Charlie would drive his brother's car.”

Just before 11pm, close to the Kings Head pub on the High Street, Mr Barnes was crossing the road with a friend when he was hit by Gill.

Miss Jones said: “That caused Mr Barnes to be injured. He managed to get into the Kings Head to call for help. The reason he had to do so is because the defendant did not stop and carried on driving.”

The court heard how Gill then crashed into a property's garden wall.

Miss Jones said police were already on their way to the hit-and-run incident when they came across Gill, his brother, and their damaged car.

A breath test revealed he had 85 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

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The legal UK limit is 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath.

Miss Jones said: “He [Gill] stated he failed to stop, saying he knew he hit a pedestrian but panicked because he knew he had been drinking.”

Gill's victim, who appeared in court on crutches, said in a victim impact statement that the impact fractured his fibula in his left leg.

Reading the statement, Miss Jones said: “I used to be a fit and active person, which the incident has taken away from me.

“There has been very restless and sleepless nights due to the pain being too much.”

Chris Brown, mitigating, said Gill had lived a life without blemish until this incident.

He said Gill was educated, attended college and had only just started his career.

“He has made a terrible error of judgement and a terrible decision,” Mr Brown said.

Gill had asked his solicitor if he could personally apologise to the victim and stood up from the dock.

He said: “I would like to say how sorry I am for causing this pain and grief to you and your family. I am gutted I have done this, and I am so sorry.”

Gill, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to drink driving, driving without insurance, driving without due care and attention and failing to stop after a road accident on April 5.

All of the offences occurred on the High Street in Holt.

He was banned from driving for 22 months, ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and must pay £940 in fines and costs.

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