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Two Teenagers Sentenced After Knocking Down Leo Durrington

Both boys who cannot be named because of their age sobbed as they appeared at Wigan Youth Court this afternoon

A 16 year old boy admitted to driving the van that hit Leo Durrington in Leigh on October 30 as he was being chased by police.

The teenager was behind the wheel of a Ford Transit van when he lost control on a bend on Wigan Road.

The vehicle mounted the pavement and struck Leo, who was "ripped from his mum's hands", police said, and flung 17 metres across a pub car park.

He covered his face and turned away after being shown CCTV of the incident in court today. He admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He also admitted failing to stop for police, failing to stop after a collision, driving without a licence, driving without insurance and a handling charge for the stolen van.

He was already accused of separate motoring offences before the van incident.

Magistrates sentenced him to a 12 month detention order and banned from driving for 5 and half years, he was told he who serve half of his sentence behind bars.

A second youth, aged 15, pleaded guilty to being carried in the stolen vehicle, he was handed a 12 month referral order.

The court heard how 4 old year Leo is still in hospital and is struggling to walk an talk following emergency surgery and his parent are constantly by his bedside.

The brave toddler suffered multiple extensive injuries and the officers immediately stopped at the scene and administered first aid before he was rushed to hospital in a critical condition. 

The vehicle was later recovered by officers on St John’s Street in Abram where the duo abandoned it. 

Following extensive public appeals, the 16-year-old driver was located and subsequently arrested. The 15-year-old passenger handed himself in at a local police station a couple of hours later that evening. 

During interview, the eldest teen admitted to purchasing the stolen van for £300 the day before the collision. 

In line with GMP policy, the incident was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct. 

Police Sergeant Lee Westhead of GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “The devastation caused is all too apparent. Leo’s family has been left distraught by what happened that day and I am glad that we were able to identify these teenagers so quickly. 

“They showed no regard for anyone other than themselves. They left Leo lying in the road without a seconds thought. 

“Thankfully the prompt medical attention given to Leo at the scene and the incredible treatment from the dedicated doctors, nurses and staff at Manchester Children’s Hospital, Leo is now recovering in hospital with his devoted family by his bedside. 

“On behalf of Leo’s family I’d like to thank the community for their support and well wishes since this incident and the thoughts of everyone at GMP are very much with them as he recovers in hospital.”

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