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Family of Brownhills hit and run victim 'let down' by GBH charge

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

A man has admitted GBH after a hit and run in Brownhills but the family of his seriously injured victim claim he should have faced more serious charges.

John Thomason drove a van at 42-year-old Gareth James and his friend Richard Vernon on the corner of Hednesford Road and Wilkin Road in August.

Mr James was badly injured and has still be unable to return to work after suffering a bleed on the brain. His friend suffered minor injuries.

The 25-year-old admitted a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Gareth James at Wolverhampton Crown Court.He also admitted attempting to cause grievous bodily harm to Mr Vernon, driving whilst disqualified, dangerous driving and having no insurance.

However Thomason, of Thetford Road, Great Barr, had originally been charged with attempted murder but his GBH plea after the case was reviewed by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Prosectors said they found the court would still have 'ample sentencing powers' as he could receive a life sentence.

But Mr James' sister Louise Edwards said the family were disappointed.

She said: "Gareth is absolutely gutted and as a family we feel very let down.

"It is still very raw for us all. Gareth is slowly getting better and that is the main thing but he is frustrated at being off work. He has mobility problems and is having physiotherapy but it is a long drawn out process and he still isn't right.

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"All we can hope for is that when he is sentenced that justice is done and that the sentence he gets reflects the crime he has committed."

Mr James works for baby equipment company Magrini in Walsall Wood.

During a brief hearing Mr Hugh O'Brien-Quinn, prosecuting, told the court the pleas were accepted by the crown.

Thomason was remanded in custody and will be sentenced later this month.

Spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service, Vinny Bolina, said the case was fully and appropriately reviewed by an experienced lawyer and by counsel.

He went on to add: "Due to this review and the guilty pleas entered by the defendant today to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, both which carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, as well as dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified and using a motor vehicle on a road without third party insurance, the Crown felt that these offences properly reflected the serious nature of Thomason's criminal acts and has provided the court with ample sentencing powers."

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