Michael Fletcher Was Sentenced At Chester Crown Court After Pleading Guilty
The family of a woman who was hospitalised after being struck by a car, have spoken of their relief and anger after the driver who hit her was sentenced after pleading guilty to dangerous driving and driving under the influence.
On November 29th, 2017, Melody Smith, 56 from Middlewich was attending a meeting of her photographic group in a quiet rural clearing in woodland near Bradford Road, Winsford. At around 8pm, during the meeting, a Hyundai Tucson hit Melody.
The driver of the car, Michael Fletcher, 38, had pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and also driving under the influence of alcohol at previous hearings of the case.
On Friday, 31st August, at Chester Crown Court, Fletcher, of Moulton Winsford, was sentenced to two years and four months imprisonment and disqualified from driving for six years and two months.
After the accident Melody’s husband, Alan Smith, instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help secure vital funds to cover the costs of the extensive rehabilitation and treatment she will now need. Melody, who suffered a catastrophic brain injury in the collision, remains semi-conscious in Royal Stoke Hospital as a result of her injuries.
64 year-old Alan, who has three adult children with Melody, said: “The sentencing brings with it relief that the criminal trial is now over; however I, with the rest of the family, remain devastated that such a terrible thing ever happened to Melody in the first place.
“Melody remains in hospital and there are no signs that she will be home in the near future.
“I feel although I can cope with many of the domestic things, leaving the hospital each evening to go to the house feels like spending another night away from home. I wake early and rush from one thing to the next, always wondering how Melody is feeling and whether she needs to be comforted.
“It is always a relief to get to the hospital and to be with her again.
“For our three adult children who live elsewhere it has been an upsetting and traumatic time. The critical early part of Melody’s stay in hospital coincided with the Christmas holidays and we were fortunate to have time together as a family to visit Melody and to provide support to her, and each other.
“Melody spent almost four weeks unconscious after the collision and began to show signs of awakening just as our elder two were leaving for their homes in London and Sydney. Our youngest daughter stayed with me for the whole of December and reluctantly returned to York in the New Year.
“We are a close-knit and loving family, and Melody provides a voice of reason and good sense to us all, which we all miss dreadfully.”
Richard Biggs, the expert serious injury solicitor at Irwin Mitchell who is representing Melody, said:
Expert Opinion“This is an incredibly sad case in which the dangerous actions of a driver have caused immense pain for a family and left a woman with serious, life-changing injuries.
“The sentencing highlights the need for other drivers to take note and be more responsible when on the road. Nothing is more important than your own safety and the safety of others on the roads.
“We will continue to support Alan, and the family, as they look to put this terrible ordeal behind them and focus on Melody’s rehabilitation and recovery.” Richard Biggs - Senior Associate Solicitor
Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in road accident cases.