A teenager mowed down and killed by a motorist ‘driving like a maniac’ had ‘all his life and dreams ahead of him’, his heartbroken family said today
Adrian Webster, aged 43, of Manor Park Centre, Manor, Sheffield, was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving at Sheffield Crown Court and told he will be jailed.
Lawrence Moorhouse, a pupil at Sheffield Park Academy, was hit by Webster’s Vauxhall Astra outside his school on December 10, 2013.
Dad Alan, 51, said: “Lawrence had all his life and dreams ahead of him.”
“We were devastated by his death and although nothing will ever bring him back and it’s taken a long time to get this far, we are now relieved that justice has now been done.
“I only hope that our situation sends out a message to all drivers of the need to take more care when driving around schools and to take responsibility for their action.
“We lost our son and our daughters lost their brother that day when with more care and attention the accident could have been avoided completely.
“We also believe that a 20mph speed limit should be introduced around all schools.”
Webster showed no emotion as a jury of seven men and five women returned the unanimous guilty verdict.
Judge Mark Gargan told him: “There will be a custodial sentence in this case.
“However, you have not been to prison before but it is appropriate for you to get a sentencing.
“I feel that I need to know enough about you before I decide on the length of sentence that you must serve.”
Caroline Mitchell, a specialist serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Lawrence’s family said: “This incident absolutely devastated Lawrence’s family and highlights the extreme consequences of not taking care when driving.
“A collision can occur in an instant and have a massive impact on many people’s lives.
“It’s crucial that drivers take note of this case and ensure that they are extra vigilant when they are travelling near to schools.
“All too often we are contacted by families whose lives have been changed forever because of children being hit by drivers who are speeding or not paying attention.”
The court had heard from a witness who said Webster was driving ‘like a madman, like a maniac’ just minutes before he mowed down Lawrence outside his school on Beaumont Road North.
Marcello Finnochiaro said Webster was ‘zig-zagging’ like in a ‘slalom’ between cars.
Webster claimed he was travelling at ‘28 to 30mph’ as he turned on Beaumont Road North but police reconstructions suggested his car was travelling at up to 45mph on impact with Lawrence.
Emergency services tried in vain to save him at the scene but later died the next morning in hospital.
Webster will be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on September 11.