Man jailed for four years for hit and run car theft
THE WIFE of a man left for dead by a hit-and-run driver today said his life had been ruined and their family devastated.
Shirley Hazeldene spoke out as drug user Nicholas Cork started a prison sentence of nearly four years for injuring her husband with his own car.
Plymouth Crown Court heard how Geoffrey Hazeldene stood in front of his Astra to try and stop him and clung to the bonnet as Cork drove away at speed.
The 59-year-old electrician suffered brain damage when he was flung into the road.
Speaking after his sentence, Mrs Hazeldene said: "This man ruined my husband's life and has devastated our family. He drove straight at him and left him for dead.
"Geoffrey's injuries mean he needs care and supervision and is unlikely to fully recover.
"We have to live with the consequences of what Cork did for the rest of our lives and we hope he is never allowed to destroy another life in this way."
The court was told Mr Hazeldene suffered a fractured skull and brain injuries and was in hospital for three months after the incident in Pennycross in August last year.
He has a hole the size of a fist in his skull and needs to wear a helmet except while sitting or lying down. Recorder Jonathan Barnes jailed Cork for three years and 11 months for a string of offences on August 9 last year.
He said: "No sentence I can pass could possible adequately reflect what you caused to happen to Geoffrey Hazeldene or satisfy the natural anger of his family.
"What has impressed me most is the courage of Mr Hazeldene and his wife.
"They are plainly determined to make the best of what is left so far as their lives are concerned."
Andrew Maitland, for the Crown Prosecution Service, told the court Mr Hazeldene was unable to look after himself and may never return to work. He said it was hoped the swelling of his brain would abate and a titanium plate can be inserted.
Mr Maitland added he could make a recovery, but any progress was slow.
The court heard he also suffered mobility problems.
Cork, of Holman Court, Pennycross, admitted causing grievous bodily harm without intent, aggravated vehicle taking and driving without insurance. He denied inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Hazeldene with intent at nearby Melrose Stores on August 9. A jury cleared him of that offence at Plymouth Crown Court.
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