Cyclist jailed for a year after hitting nine-year-old girl on zebra crossing

Cyclist Philip Benwell hit girl at 30mph before leaving the scene

A cyclist who hit a girl at 30mph after he ran a red light and then fled the scene has been jailed for a year.

Philip Benwell, 38, was found guilty of GBH at Bournemouth Crown Court yesterday for the incident in Branksome Chine, Dorset, in which Leila Crofts was left with a fractured skull. She was in intensive care for two weeks.

When sentencing Benwell, who got back on his bike and left the scene after the incident, Judge Peter Johnson said: "Having struck this little girl you callously picked up your bike and carried on your journey leaving her lying unconscious in the road.

"This fractured her skull and shattered her family’s life in one instant." 

Benwell was initially charged with wanton and furious cycling which was later changed to GBH, reported the Daily Mail.

The court heard that Benwell had been cycling erratically with his head down and 'bottom in the air' when the incident happened in July. The day after the collision, Benwell handed himself into police and had shown remorse for his actions.

Crofts, now aged 10, is said to be making a good recovery.

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