Parents Win Compensation for Brain Damaged ToddlerSeptember 1, 2010
Cerys Edwards was just 11 months old at the time of the accident in Streetly Lane, Sutton Coldfield on 11 November 2006. She is still unable to breathe without a ventilator and requires 24-hour care. She is currently being looked after at the specialist Children’s Trust in Surrey.
Antonio Singh Boporan who was 19 at the time of the crash was speeding at 70mph in a 30mph area in his mother’s high performance Range Rover when he lost control whilst overtaking and smashed into the Edwards family car, injuring himself as well as others.
Boporan was sentenced to 21 months in jail and banned from driving for 5 years at Birmingham Crown Court after being found guilty of dangerous driving. He was told by Judge Frank Chapman that he had shown an “arrogant disregard” for safety. His millionaire parents who own the Two Sisters Food Group based in West Bromwich released a statement after he was sentenced. It said: “We a deeply sorry this awful accident has had such devastating consequences. We all realise there is no sentence our son could receive that could be close to the suffering of baby Cerys and her family. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”
Cerys’ parents Gareth and Stacey Edwards, have to travel 150 miles from their home Sutton Coldfield to see Cerys in Surrey and hope to be able to buy a specially adapted house in which to care for Cerys themselves.
Their lawyer Richard Langton said such a house would cost about £850,000, and that there were extra costs for her carers and transport. He said: “I know it sounds a lot, but its got to accommodate not just Cerys but all her carers around the clock.”
The Edwards have now launched a campaign for tougher sentences to be introduced for dangerous driving. The current maximum sentence is 2 years and they are calling for this to be increased to 10 years, closer to the maximum for death by dangerous driving. Mr Edwards said: “We strongly feel that the maximum two year sentence should have been imposed. Even this would have seemed inadequate considering what has happened to our daughter. Cerys could not survive without her ventilator so in our opinion he should be facing up to 14 years, the same penalty as causing death by dangerous driving.”
Jayne Salt of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “This case has highlighted the culture of vehicles being driven at high speed by young, inexperienced motorists. In this case the defendant, who had only passed his driving test six months prior to the incident, was driving a high performance Range Rover over the speed limit and was not wearing a seatbelt.”
Prosecutors gathered evidence of Boporan’s speed thanks to a high-tech German airbag system fitted to the Range Rover. This helped estimate his speed at the time of impact with the Edwards’ vehicle. This case is the first in the UK to use such a system as evidence in a prosecution.