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Crash victim: sentencing 'a kick in the teeth'
A South Oxhey woman who spent Christmas in a wheelchair after being hit by an uninsured teenager driving a stolen car has described the sentence handed down by magistrates as "a kick in the teeth".
Katy Gilbert, 27, had her hip shattered in four places and spent two weeks in hospital following the crash with a stolen Renault Megane at the junction of Sandy Lane and Hayling Road on December 2.
The 16-year-old from Watford, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was handed a 12-month youth rehabilitation order and a 12 month driving ban at St Albans youth court last week.
He must also pay Sam English, the owner of the Nissan Micra Katy was travelling in, £300 compensation, £85 court costs and £15 victim surcharge - at a rate of £5 per fortnight.
Katy said: "I am not surprised with that sentence, we were not expecting anything but it is still disappointing.
"The officer that came round to take our statement said she was really hoping for a custodial sentence.
"He could have killed us and he ran from the car, they punish him by saying he’s not allowed to drive but that didn’t stop him last time.
"It feels like a bit of a kick in the teeth from the judge."
More than two months after the crash Katy is still not able to stand without the support of crutches or a wheelchair and must undergo further surgery to repair nerve damage.
As well as the medical impact, Katy has had to drop out of her forensic sciences course at London Metropolitan University and put her work at Watford-based community radio station Vibe 107.6 on hold.
Katy had asked to be present at the usually private youth court sentencing but a magistrate rejected the application, saying she would be told the result afterwards.
However, a week after the hearing, she had still not been contacted regarding the outcome of the case.
She said: "It is frustrating, I’m not a bad person. I was saving up for a house with my boyfriend before this happened.
"Now I have been signed off until June because it’s such a bad socket break, I am getting statutory sick pay but I am having to use my savings too.
"I also can’t try for a baby this year, all these things I wanted to do I now can’t."
The driver pleaded guilty to aggravated taking without consent, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and driving without insurance.
A 24-year-old also arrested in relation to the crash will face no further action.