Banned driver who 'knocked a Jew over' sentenced to 20 months

He rammed into dad and five-year-old son by a synagogue, with the two suffering bruising and 'prolonged back pain'


A Newcastle driver has been jailed for 20 months after a hit-and-run where he hit two Jewish men walking near a synagogue in Gateshead.

Christopher Carr, 23, was disqualified from driving and had no insurance when he knocked a man and his five-year-old son over as they were crossing the road near the Gateshead Hebrew Congregation on Bewick Road.

Officers analysing his phone discovered Snapchat messages Carr sent to his partner after the collision which said he needed somewhere to stay as he had unintentionally "knocked a Jew over".

Carr, who was driving a stolen Audi and was distracted at the time as he was using his mobile phone, quickly drove away from the scene.

He appeared in court for sentencing charges of dangerous driving, failing to stop, aggravated vehicle taking, failing to stop at the scene of a collision and driving whilst disqualified and without insurance. Carr pleaded guilty to all the offences.

The court heard that on September 26 last year, a dad and his five-year-old son were due to cross the road near to the synagogue when they saw an Audi car.

Nicoleta Alistari, prosecuting, said: "The Audi took a hard left towards them and hit them both. They fell to the ground and the defendant drove off, despite the father shouting at him."

After the collision, Carr later drove back round to the scene before once again driving off. A few days later, Carr handed himself in to police.

The court was told the dad and his son suffered bruising, with the man suffering "prolonged back pain".

Two months after the collision, Carr was once again in trouble with the police when he was involved in a short car chase on November 13.

Ms Alistari said Carr was behind the wheel of another vehicle whilst hitting speeds of up to 60mph in residential areas during the chase, which had to be abandoned by officers. Carr, who had been recognised by a police officer during the incident, was later arrested.

Joe Hedworth, defending, said Carr wished to send his "sincere apology to the man and his little boy for the pain and discomfort caused as a result of being hit".

He said he "accepts full responsibility for his actions" and is "remorseful and ashamed about what he did.

"He admits he was driving a stolen car and was not concentrating at the junction." The accident occurred at "low speed" and Carr's "conscience got the better of him as he returned to the scene".

Carr was jailed for 20 months and banned from driving for two years and 10 months.

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