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E-scooter rider who knocked over pensioner while trying to evade police sentenced

An e-scooter rider who knocked over a pensioner while trying to evade the police has been sentenced.

Paul Satchell had been stopped by PC Jason Kemp and PC Daniel Turk in Watermill Lane, Bexhill, after using the powered vehicle.

The officers were in a patrol vehicle that stopped to warn the 58-year-old that he need to stop riding, but Satchell ignored them, turned away from the police, and rode off.

He paid no attention to what was ahead of him.

Myra Wood, 79, was crossing the road when she was struck by Satchell who was riding at speed and looking back to the police officers behind him.

She was knocked over and suffered extensive injuries in the collision, including a fractured eye socket.

Satchell was also thrown off his vehicle but was uninjured.

PC Kemp and PC Turk immediately provided first aid to Mrs Wood, and arrested Satchell. They seized his e-scooter and obtained witness details and CCTV, which showed how the shocking incident unfolded.

E-scooters are currently classed as a powered vehicle, but there is currently no way to legally register or insure them. So riding e-scooters in a public place is illegal and users can face having the item seized, and being prosecuted for motoring offences.

Satchell, of no fixed address, was charged with Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving.

Paul Satchell

At Lewes Crown Court on September 9th 2022, he was sentenced to 16 months in prison. He was also disqualified from driving for a further three years and eight months.

The court heard how the incident took place at 11.50am on December 1, 2020.

Myra Wood, who was aged 77 at the time, agreed to footage being shared to warn other e-scooter users about the dangers the vehicles pose to others and to remind them that the items are illegal to use on a public road or path.

She said she previously enjoyed an active life with regular walks and visits to the shops and to church in Bexhill and Sidley.

But the injuries she suffered left her in hospital for two days, and she was unable to eat solid food for six weeks.

She was left with extreme anxiety and said she felt “terrified” to cross the road.

Mrs Wood said: “I can say that this collision left me with physical and mental scars that have fundamentally affected my quality of life.

“I know I am a shadow of my former self.”

Speaking after the case Collision Unit investigator Chris McGuckin said: “This was a particularly unusual case in as much as it was an e-scooter that was involved. We could only charge Satchell if it was established that the e-scooter was a ‘vehicle’ within the meaning of the Road Traffic Act.

“The quick actions of PC Turk and PC Kemp to seize the e-scooter, and then the examination and photographs taken by PC Dave Upjohn from our Roads Policing Unit, ensured we were able to show this was a ‘mechanically propelled vehicle’ to the satisfaction of the CPS.

“Satchell at first pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charge and the matter was sent to the Crown Court for trial.

“But he failed to attend court on several occasions. Warrants were issued for his arrest. When he was arrested and appeared in court, the evidence was so strong that he had no choice but to change his plea to guilty.

“We are pleased that we could at last get justice for Mrs Wood with the 16-month prison sentence.

“The case shows that all road users have an obligation to pay attention and be aware of others on the road to prevent causing serious harm.

“It also demonstrates the harm that can be caused by e-scooters, which are still illegal to use in public, outside of a trial area.”

Full guidance on use of e-scooters is available on the Sussex Police website.

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