Longridge driver Jack Gornall, who left friend in a wheelchair after fleeing crash scene, is jailed for five years

A man who was left paralysed when his friend drove him to a secluded farm instead of seeking help after a crash has spoken of the devastating impact as his former friend begins a jail term.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 12:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th December 2018, 4:28 pm
Jack Gornall

Dave Easom, from Longridge, was left wheelchair bound and needs constant care after suffering serious spinal injuries in the collision on Higher Road, Longridge, in May 2017.

Farming worker Jack Gornall, 25, of Gas Street, Longridge, was at the wheel of a Toyota Hilux which collided with an Audi, but he fled the scene and no medical help was sought for hours despite Mr Easom's pleas.

He is beginning a five jail term, is disqualified from driving for three and a half years, and must do an extended retest.

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Jack Gornall

Preston Crown Court was told Mr Easom needs help cutting up his food, assistance with private functions, has to wear a catheter, needs 24/7 care and is transported around in a specially adapted van.

He has since laucnhed civil proceedings against Gornall - read more.

In a victim statement read at Preston Crown Court, Mr Easom, who had been working and saving up a deposit for a new house before the accident, said: "My life has changed beyond all recognition.

"I'm now stuck like this forever.

Higher Road, Longridge

" I wish to convey just how angry I am. Jack was a close mate and I trusted him, he should have been honest."

He said he felt like a prisoner in his rented bungalow. As he can't use his right hand at all, and can only use two fingers on his left hand, he cannot cut his own food up, has to have a catheter and is unable to do simple tasks such as search the internet on his phone.

Wearing a navy suit, Gornall, who is of previous good character, hugged friends and family outside the courtroom before being taken into the dock.

He was found guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice after a trial.

The court previously heard Gornall made a call to a friend saying he had been in an accident and had "ruined his life" - and the same friend then came upon the accident scene and realised it was the same incident.

Meanwhile Gornall had taken Mr Easom to Deer House Farm, up a secluded track, and remained there for half an hour before calling his dad, David Gornall. The father and son lifted him into the father's car and took Mr Easom back to David Gornall's home in Longridge, where he was laid out on a bed.

The judge did not accept Jack Gornall's claim he had 'helped' Mr Easom walk into his father's house - pointing out he had even urinated on himself during the night due to his lakc of movement and control

The father made a call to a friend who was a paramedic at 7.30am the next day. It was only then that an ambulance was called and Mr Easom was taken to hospital.

It was nine hours before the police were informed by Gornall.

Defence lawyer Chris Hudson said it was a "tragic factor" in the case Mr Easom was not clipped in and there was no passenger airbag.

He added: "He's an intrinsically decent young man."

Judge Beverley Lunt said: " What they did didn't make the injury worse, the injury was caused by the accident.

"However not getting medical assistance could have had an effect on his respiratory system and therefore urgent medical treatment should have been a priority."

Sentencing him, she said she appreciated both of their lives had been changed but added: " The difference is all David Easom did was get into your car, and his life was devastated by those events.

"The victim impact statement makes very, very sad reading. He is a very young man who is now wheelchair bound for the rest of his life.

"Your life has been changed as a result of your own actions and indeed some lack of actions."

She accepted there was no evidence he had been under the influence of anything at the time of the crash but added: "It cannot be ignored you must have thought something in the police investigation would be held against you or why else do what you did?"

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