South Yorks hit and run ‘coward’ jailed

Scott McManis, jailed for 34 months for hit and run in Racecommon Road, Barnsley.
Scott McManis, jailed for 34 months for hit and run in Racecommon Road, Barnsley.

A pedestrian was left with horrific life-threatening injuries by a racing and speeding hit-and-run driver - whose own father and sister helped cover up his crime.

Scott McManis, aged 21, was racing against another car in his dad’s silver Ford Mondeo when he mowed down 52-year-old Neil Wilcock, then fled the scene.

He rang his father Gary McManis, who urged him to hand himself in.

But, when he refused and said he was going to torch the car, Mr McManis told his daughter Stacey McManis to ring police and report the car as stolen.

Mr Wilcock suffered fractures of the skull, spine, legs and feet, and serious head and lung injuries, and spent months in hospital in Sheffield.

He still needs 24-hour care and has been unable to go back to work.

Gary McManis, 48, and his sister Stacey, 25, wept in the dock at Sheffield Crown Court as they were handed suspended jail terms for perverting the course of justice.

The judge said their lies had impeded the investigation, causing added anguish to the victim’s family.

“Those who give false representations must realise they are in a serious position,” he added.

Jailing driver Scott McManis for 18 months for conspiracy to pervert justice, and 16 months on top for aggravated vehicle taking, Judge Robert Bartfield admitted his sentencing powers were too weak.

“This is going to be one of those rare occasions when I say the sentence is ludicrously inadequate,” he said.

“It allows me in no way to do justice for what happened here.”

Ian Goldsack, prosecuting, said the collision happened at 7.20pm last December 12.

Scott McManis was hurtling at speeds of 40 and 50mph in a 30mph zone - and one witness told police she heard two cars revving ‘as though the engines were being thrashed’ before seeing the vehicles racing along Racecommon Road, Barnsley.

Mr Wilcock was found in the road in a pool of blood.

A wing mirror found at the scene was taken to a Ford garage and the make and model of the car were narrowed down.

When police searched their database they found Stacey McManis had reported a car of a similar date and type as stolen.

Police visited the family at their home in Grafton Street, Barnsley, but the McManis clan stuck to their story, insisting the car had been stolen.

But mobile phone cell site evidence put Scott McManis at the scene of the smash - and pinpointed him again in woodland in Deepcar, Sheffield, where the car was found burned out.

He eventually handed himself in to the police on December 29, Mr Goldsack said.

The other racing motorist was never traced.

In a victim impact statement Mr Wilcock’s sister said he had been unconscious for weeks and they thought he was going to die.

Rebecca Stephens, defending Scott McManis, said he was ‘utterly ashamed’ and wanted to apologise to Mr Wilcock and his family.

Jailing Scott McManis, Judge Bartfield said: “Mr Wilcock suffered the most terrible injuries. Nothing can give him his life back.

“Both legs were fractured, he underwent multiple operations and he was in intensive care almost a month.

“It’s a miracle he survived.

“I’m satisfied you were vehicle racing. It was driving for fun on the public roads.

“You knew perfectly well you had knocked someone over. Your reaction was to leave the scene, and your counsel has rightly described you as a coward.

“Having injured somebody you left the scene, putting their life in danger.

“You thought more of saving your own skin than of seeking assistance for that man.”

Scott McManis was banned from driving for three years and told to take an extended test.

Gary McManis was ordered to do 120 hours’ unpaid work and pay £300 costs, while Stacey McManis must do 80 hours and pay £100 costs.

Inspector Pete Serhatlic, from South Yorkshire Police’s road policing group, who investigated the crash, said: “The McManis family have been brought to justice after a long and protracted investigation.

“I would like to wish the victim every success in his determination to regain good health, and I would like to thank those members of the public that assisted us.

“Leaving the scene of a collision is morally irresponsible, and the actions of a coward.”