12-year jail term for man who mowed down ex-soldier and left him paralysed

A man who ran down an Amazon driver and left him paralysed from the waist down has been jailed for 12 years.

Mitchell Rose, left, ran over Chance Bright as Brian Atkinson, right, drove off in Mr Bright's van
Mitchell Rose, left, ran over Chance Bright as Brian Atkinson, right, drove off in Mr Bright's van

Delivery driver Chance Bright, aged 23, a former soldier and aspiring police officer, was working his notice the week he was run down by the scrap van Mitchell Rose was driving and dragged for around 95 metres.

The incident happened in Coven on March 4 this year.

Mr Bright was delivering a parcel when he turned round to see his delivery van being taken by Brian Atkinson in Paradise Lane. He tried to ask Rose for help, but was then mown down by him. Rose and Atkinson knew each other.

Mr Bright, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, was left with a catastrophic spinal injury after the incident. In a statement, he said his "life changed forever" on that day.

The delivery van was later tracked and located by police officers in Spring Lane, in Walsall. The parcels that were inside the van, totalling to almost £3,000, were never found.

Rose and Atkinson made off from the scene but were tracked and stopped by colleagues from North Wales Police the next day after they were found in a car with two women.

He had also pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving but was cleared of attempted murder.

Atkinson, 41 and of Parker Street, Walsall, pleaded guilty to theft of the delivery van and was convicted of assisting an offender following the trial at Stafford Crown Court.

Two women, Rose's sister Carol Davies, 39, of Yew Road, Walsall, and Emma Griffin, 34, of Field Road, Walsall, both admitted to assisting an offender at an earlier hearing.

All four were sentenced at Stafford Crown Court today.

Rose was jailed for 12 years, while Atkinson was sentenced to 20 month in prison.

Davies was given a 12 month community order, while Griffin received a four-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months.

In a statement after the sentencing, Mr Bright said: "The trial has been an exceptionally difficult time for me and my family, and following the sentencing, we now hope to be able to put this chapter behind us and move forwards.

"I am still in the early stages of my rehabilitation and recovery, and that is very much going to be my focus now.

"On that day my life changed forever. It will never be the same again, but I take every day as it comes now, and I try to stay positive for the future.”

Detective Constable Laura Turner, from Staffordshire Police force CID, said: “This was a selfish and thoughtless crime that has had a lasting impact on a young hardworking man who had the rest of his life still ahead of him. His life will never be the same again.

“I would like to say thank you to all of the members of the public and witnesses at the scene who helped with this thorough investigation.

“I am pleased that justice has been served. Our thoughts remain with Chance and his family and I hope they can try to rebuild their lives.”

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