A former Porsche salesman who caused life changing injuries to two young women has failed in a bid to reduce his driving ban, despite becoming friends with one of his victims.
Adam Hill was jailed for 15 months in July 2015 after driving his £32,000 Audi A6 on the wrong side of the road when he smashed into a car carrying pals Beth Tyson and Kate Hunter.
Hill, now 37, was also banned from driving for three years after Judge John Pini QC said that “short of death, the harm could not have been greater.”
But after visiting Hill in prison, Miss Hunter, who was just 19 at the time of the crash, forgave him and said she was now friends with the man that nearly killed her.
Hill served just four months (116 days) of his 15 month sentence in jail before being released under a home curfew.
The decision to release Hill was criticised by his other victim, Miss Tyson, but Hill has continued to keep in contact with Miss Hunter as part of a ‘restorative justice’ project.
A letter of support from Miss Hunter and her parents was handed to the judge when Hill made an application to reduce his driving ban by six months at Lincoln Crown Court.
His current driving ban should finish on July 20 next year, and he would also have to take an extended driving test before getting back behind the wheel.
Giving evidence, Hill told the hearing he accepted responsibility for the crash but had taken the case to trial on legal advice as he knew he had not used a mobile phone while driving as the prosecution had claimed.
Hill said he spoke to Miss Hunter, from East Ferry, Lincs, on a weekly basis and had run a half marathon to support her spinal charity.
“I speak to Kate on a weekly basis, we talk about her horses, and she has just lost her dog, I was consoling her,” Hill told the court.
The two friends have also appeared together on ITVs This Morning show to promote ‘restorative justice’, and have undertaken roles with a road safety group.
Hill told the court he did not have an income but he had a definite job offer from a BMW dealership if he got his licence back.
The court heard two representatives from the company who were willing to employ Hill were unable to attend the hearing due to holidays.
Hill said he also needed to drive to keep in regular contact with his 15-year-old daughter, who he does not support financially and lives in Nottingham.
When cross examined by prosecution barrister Edna Leonard, Hill, who now lives in Lincoln area, claimed it would be impossible to make the visits by train and bus.
Under further questioning from Miss Leonard, Hill admitted there were photos of high value vehicles on a website for a car buying business which he has set up.
Hill told the court he was down to his last £3,000 of savings after re-mortgaging his home which he rents out.
“I’m at a point where I need to get back in to work,” Hill told the hearing.
Hill insisted he would continue his ‘restorative justice’ work, adding: “I want to do as much good as I can.”
But the court heard Hill is not in contact with Miss Tyson, who is still suffering with serious injuries.
“I respect her wishes,” Hill said.
Miss Tyson, from Tealby, Lincs, was critical of the decision to release Hill from jail in November 2015.
At the time of Hill’s release she said: “They call it a justice system but I don’t feel justified at all, by this decision.
“He’s the criminal and I’m the victim of his crime but I feel like I’m the one that’s being punished more.”
Rejecting Hill’s application to reduce his driving ban, Judge Pini said he was “impressed to a degree” by his efforts.
“At the trial you didn’t then show any remorse,” the judge said.
“Now in November 2017 we are assessing the situation now. I accept you have done everything you can to make amends.
“You and the Hunter family took part in the restorative justice system. It was a painful process. They say it seemed to them that you were genuinely remorseful.”
But the judge added that he had also read a “heartbreaking” statement from Miss Tyson.
Judge Pini said: “The court statement I have read from Beth Tyson is heartbreaking. Her body and her life have been shattered.
“She has had five operations since the trial, she can only walk 50 metres.”
The judge told Hill: “While life is hard for you being disqualified, I have to bear in mind that life is intolerably hard for Beth Tyson and Kate Hunter.
“The disqualification is part of the punishment, it is a significant part of the sentence, it is meant to hurt.”
The court heard Miss Hunter had represented Great Britain in the Paralympics dressage in 2013 and had hoped to compete at Rio in 2016.
In December 2013 her dreams were shattered when Hill ploughed into the Fiesta carrying both women, who worked at a local vets, on the A46 near Market Rasen, Lincs.
Miss Tyson, then just 18, was also forced to give up her ambitions of becoming a paramedic after she suffered a crushed left foot, broken bones in her wrist and fractures in her neck, back, chest, wrist, thighs and lower left leg.
Hill, then of Grimsby Road, Caistor, Lincs, was found guilty of two counts of causing serious injury by driving after a week-long trial.
The sales manager, who had just got engaged, had stopped twice to use his phone on his way back from a trip to Lincoln.
He was “distracted” and “stressed” after losing his position at a Sheffield Porsche dealership and had sent a text message asking a friend for a job.
In his sentencing remarks Judge Pini said: “These two young girls had their lives ruined for the rest of their lives.”
The judge said it was clear Hill was consumed by fact that he had been falsely accused of theft and his career seemed in tatters.
“Your world had just imploded,” Judge Pini told Hill. “In short you should not have been driving that day in that mental state.
“The result for these two young ladies was catastrophic beyond words.”