Sheffield bus driver didn't stop and hit young dad causing "catastrophic injuries"

A Sheffield bus driver "made no effort to slow down" before hitting a young dad and leaving him with catastrophic head injuries, a court heard.

Friday, 19th June 2020, 4:51 pm
Updated Friday, 19th June 2020, 4:51 pm

Witnesses described how Anthony Naylor said: "Look at these d*******. You better move because I'm not stopping," seconds before the impact.

After a loud bang, Naylor said: "I just hit him," in a "flippant throwaway way," prosecutor Louise Gallagher told Sheffield Crown Court, on Friday.

He was taking four fellow drivers to work when he hit the 25-year-old man as he ran across Penistone Road with a friend, at 4.10am, on November 24, 2018.

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The incident happened near Hillsborough Stadium on Penistone Road.

Naylor continued driving and dropped the other First drivers off at the depot as usual, but when they heard the road had been closed, they reported the incident.

The victim, a father of four children, had been drinking with a friend at a nearby casino.

He suffered complex skull fractures, facial lacerations and two bleeds to the brain which required the removal of part of his skull.

He spent 24 days in hospital, including 17 days in a coma, while the neuro intensive care team at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital performed surgery.

He developed epilepsy and a speech impediment, as well as suffering from muscle wastage and depression.

An operation to install a metal plate had to be reversed and he is required to wear a helmet.

"He felt he was no longer the same person and his children had become distant towards him and their close bond had changed," said Ms Gallagher.

But in a statement, Naylor’s victim said he “doesn't want the driver to go to prison."

"I don't hold a grudge and think he made a poor decision that night."

Amy Earnshaw, mitigating, said Naylor was of previous "exemplary" good character and had been a bus driver for 19 years, who was "well liked and highly-thought of."

She argued that a prison sentence could be suspended because speed and alcohol weren't involved.

"He didn't set out to cause any injury," she said. "He believed these two men would get out of the way. He left it too late to depress the brake. It was his inaction.

"This brief incident in which he made an extremely poor decision has resulted in ruining two lives.”

"He should not have acted the way he did. He will continue to punish himself mentally for the rest of his days."

Naylor, 51, of Miles Road, Shirecliffe, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, on February 27.

Judge Sarah Wright said it was an “arrogant and selfish act” which showed “wanton disregard for another human being.”

She paid tribute to the victim who, despite “horrendous injuries, has made it clear he doesn't want to see your life blighted any further.”

“His selflessness and generosity contrast starkly with your selfishness.”

But because of the delays, Naylor’s mitigating factors and the prospect of rehabilitation, she suspended a 12 month prison sentence for 18 months.

She ordered 25 rehabilitation days and banned him from driving for two years.

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