South Yorkshire hit and run driver jailed after leaving dad with life changing injuries

Andrew Chesterton
Andrew Chesterton

A South Yorkshire dad left with life changing injuries in a hit and run said he is ‘angry’ the dangerous driver left him for dead.

Andrew Chesterton was critically injured when Jamie Spacey’s car ploughed into his Audi from behind, causing it to spin around and crash into a tree.

Jamie Spacey

Jamie Spacey

Spacey, aged 26, then abandoned his vehicle and rang police to report it missing in an effort to cover his tracks.

He was jailed yesterday for 30 months and handed a three-year driving ban.

After the hearing, father-of-one Andrew, aged 33, of Barnsley town centre, said: “This crash changed my life forever. I was left in a coma and it makes me angry to think that the driver effectively left me for dead.

“It’s been tough to get this far in my recovery and I know I’ve got a long way to go yet but I’ve got the support around me to help.”

The court heard Spacey was driving along a foggy Laithes Lane in Athersley, Barnsley, just after midnight on November 16 last year with three passengers to get cigarettes.

Spacey, of Highfields Road, Kexbrough, was driving too fast for the conditions and ploughed into the back of Andrew’s car near the junction with Lindhurst Road.

Former keen climber Andrew was airlifted to hospital and put in a medically-induced coma. His injuries included several broken ribs, bleeding on the brain and a shattered pelvis.

In court, Stephanie Hollis, prosecuting, said: “Effectively, this has been a life-changing experience.

“He was running his own business as an IT consultant, travelling around the country. He is now not able to work, not able to drive – he is effectively housebound.”

Ms Hollis said Andrew suffers from memory loss and the crash has affected the relationship he is able to have with his 11-year-old daughter.

He also has hyper skin sensitivity, which is when messages are sent to his brain which say that his skin is being punctured by something sharp.

Ms Hollis said: “This grows worse on a weekly basis. He is often only able to fall asleep between 4am and 5am, then cat naps through the day,

“It’s affected his job prospects, his personal life and his social life.

“He feels depressed - he is down every day. He is reluctant to go out unless he is accompanied by his partner or his mother.”

Andrew’s sister, Suzanne Wilson, aged 35, of Worksop, said afterwards: “I don’t think any amount of jail time would ever make up for what’s happened to Andrew, even if the driver got life in prison.

“What Andrew has got, he has got for life and nothing can make up for that.”

The mum-of-two added: “It’s been a very traumatic experience. I lost my husband to brain cancer and I have been going through trauma therapy for that and had to take time off work.

“For me, it’s been one trauma after another.”

Sean Fritchley, for Spacey, told the court: “He is extremely remorseful, he genuinely wishes he could turn back the clock.

“He panicked and fully admits he acted stupidly after the crash happened. He offers his heartfelt apologies.

“In every other area of his life, he is a hard-working young man. He lives with his mother and contributes significantly to the household bills and never believed he would find himself in this position.”

Spacey admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving and failing to stop and report a road traffic collision.

Recorder Duncan Smith said: “A mere moment’s bad driving can change lives forever. Driving a car is a very responsible undertaking. It’s not a game, it’s not a platform for bravado or an opportunity to impress.

“Mr Chesterton’s life has changed beyond recognition. Prison isn’t going to turn back the clock.”

Rachael Aram, a specialist serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, which is representing Andrew, said: “This incident highlights the consequences of dangerous driving and the severity of the sentence shows how serious this is.

“Andrew suffered extremely serious injuries and will likely need some support for the rest of his life.

“Although legal action is still in the early stages, we are seeking to help secure funds to help with his rehabilitation and recovery from his injuries.”