A COURT has heard how a young Wirral man’s dreams for a career in the Territorial Army were shattered after he was left with life changing injuries when he was run down by a motorbike in Wallasey.
Mark Tottey had been returning home from a night out with friends in the early hours of September 14 last year when he was hit by the Yamaha 125cc, ridden by drink-driver Michael Anthony Stribling.
The force of the blow left the 25-year-old with a severe wound to the back of his head and pushed his brain forward, causing a bleed to the front and rear.
Stribling, aged 22, of Martins Lane, Liscard, was in the dock at Birkenhead Magistrates court today, Wednesday, where he pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention.
The provisional driver had previously pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and not displaying L-plates on February 28 and was due to stand trial before changing his plea.
The court heard Mr Tottey and his friend Stephen Dunford had been dropped off on Manor Road shortly before 2am by designated driver Holly McTearney following a night out.
Alan Currums, prosecuting, said Mr Tottey had been crossing the road towards Grosvenor Street when he spotted Stribling up ahead.
He said Mr Tottey had judged that there was “plenty of time” to cross and began to do so.
“Mr Dunford said as his friend crossed the sound of the motorbike was becoming louder and quicker,” said Mr Currums.
“He was three-quarters of the way across the road and he said his friend, Mr Tottey, went across the central line when the bike hit him and knocked him forward into the road.”
The collision left Mr Tottey with a “star-shaped cut” to the crown of his head and life changing injuries, including blindness and short term memory loss.
Mr Tottey was taken to the Walton Centre in Liverpool where he was placed into a drug induced coma for 24 hours.
He remained in hospital for a further three weeks before being released into the care of his mother on October 4.
Although he has recovered from the temporary blindness, Mr Tottey still suffers from short-term memory loss and fatigue and often forgets where he has put something just 30 minutes earlier.
He now lives with his mother, Karen, in Wallasey where he requires constant care and daily visits from healthcare professionals.
In a victim impact statement read out by Mr Currums, Mr Tottey said he was unable to cook, do laundry or work.
He said: “I had always planned to join the Territorial Army and had done some initial training.
“This is very upsetting and disappointing for me as I had set my heart on this future.
“I will have to go back to college to try and think of an alternative career path.”
Mr Tottey’s mother said: “I don’t know if he will make a full recovery – he should not be left alone.”
Stribling had no recollection of the crash but told police he had been drinking at a friend’s house beforehand.
His blood/alcohol levels were found to be 122mg of alcohol per 100ml – the legal limit is 80mg.
Quentin Neal, defending said his client was extremely remorseful about what had happened and thought about it every day.
He said: “Should my client have evaded those people in the road? Yes he should, and he will have to live with the consequences for the rest of his life.
“This wasn’t intentional harm and it is something he will regret for the rest of his life and he will have to live with that as well as the victim.
"He is deeply sorry.”
Sentencing, chair of the bench Mr Kelly said: “We view this offence extremely seriously particularly in view of the serious injuries sustained to the victim.”
Stribling was disqualified from driving for two years and fined £150 for driving with excess alcohol, and £100 for careless driving.
He was also ordered to pay £300 costs and a £20 victim surcharge, which will be taken from his benefits.