Hit-and-run sentence disgusting

A suspended sentence which was handed out to a hit and run driver has been described as disgusting by angry relatives of a boy who was knocked down.

Nine year-old Connor Aplin was knocked down by eighteen year-old Lee Sibley in Exeter on Christmas day. Sibley, of Barley Mount, was still learning to drive at the time of the accident and so did not hold a full driving licence. He then failed to stop after he hit the boy.

At Exeter Magistrates Court, Sibley admitted failing to stop after an accident, driving without a full licence, and having no insurance. He was jailed for six weeks, suspended for two years, and instructed to pay £300 compensation . He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours community service.

The court was told that Sibley had received the car involved, a Peugeot 306, as a Christmas present just hours earlier. He had then decided to take it for a drive in Farm Hill after his parents had gone out for a drink. Sibley had previously undertaken 15-20 driving lessons and believed himself to be a competent driver. He said that during his drive Connor just “came out in front of me”. He said he slammed on the brakes but still hit him and then panicked and drove away.

Sibley told his father that he had hit another vehicle when he questioned him about the damage to the car. But on Boxing Day, racked with guilt he handed himself in to police.

Connor was taken to hospital where he was treated for cuts and bruises to most parts of his head and body. He was lucky to not have sustained more serious injuries. His grandfather Adrian Aplin, 52, said: “It is disgusting. They boy could have been killed and he didn’t even stop or call an ambulance. This sentence sends out the wrong message to people altogether and the £300compensation is a joke.”

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