Rotherham hit-and-run sentence outrage

Lucas Scott with his mum Samantha at home in Montgomery Close,Treeton
Lucas Scott with his mum Samantha at home in Montgomery Close,Treeton
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A moped rider who left a schoolboy for dead in a hit and run smash has been sentenced to a six-week tagging order – sparking outrage from his victim’s family.

Joe Helliwell, aged 20, of Hemingway Road, Treeton, disappeared after crashing into eight-year-old Lucas Thorpe as he crossed a street in the village.

He initially stopped at the scene, but left before police arrived and only handed himself in four days later, when he walked into a police station with a solicitor.

Helliwell, who did not have a licence and was uninsured to ride the moped, admitted both motoring offences and failing to report an accident when he appeared at Rotherham Magistrates’ Court.

He was handed a six-week curfew order, which will see him wearing an electronic tag which alerts the authorities if he leaves his house between 7pm and 6am.

He has also been banned from driving for a year and was ordered to pay £85 costs.

However, his victim’s mum, Samantha Scott, 32, said she was ‘disgusted’ at the leniency of the sentence.

Her son was left fighting for life after the crash on Arundel Avenue in April, after suffering a fractured skull, eye socket and leg in the collision.

The youngster, whose leg is still in a plastercast, underwent emergency surgery to release pressure on his brain and to stop a bleed after the crash, and was placed in intensive care in an induced coma.

He was dragged along the road by the bike, leaving his family fearing his face would be scarred for life.

Today, Lucas’ mum Sam said she wanted Helliwell to apologise for his actions.

She said: “We are disgusted by the leniency of his sentence but what we are most upset about is that Helliwell has never once said sorry.

“All we want is an apology – an acknowledgment of what he did and some sign that he is sorry for it, because at the moment all we know is that he is walking around our village as though he has done nothing wrong. Lucas could easily walk past him in the street.”

However, she said she was delighted with the progress Lucas has made.

The youngster, who was a goalkeeper with the Young Owls under-eights football team at the time of the collision, is back at school and able to hobble around, despite his leg remaining in the cast.

She said: “We didn’t think we would be bringing Lucas home at one point, so to look at him now is amazing.

“He is still scared when he hears the sound of bikes, so the scars will take a long time to heal – both physically and psychologically – but we are very proud of him for the way he has fought back.”