Hit-and-run victim, 92, disgusted with CPS after speeding moped driver walks free from court

PUBLISHED: 12:11 20 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:38 20 December 2019

John Savile, 92, who was knocked down in a hit and run last year. Picture: Polly Hancock

John Savile, 92, who was knocked down in a hit and run last year. Picture: Polly Hancock


The 92-year-old victim of a hit-and-run was left disgusted after the speeding moped driver who “ruined his life” walked free from court with a community order and a £300 fine.

John Savile, 92, who was knocked down in a hit and run last year. Picture: Polly HancockJohn Savile, 92, who was knocked down in a hit and run last year. Picture: Polly Hancock

John Savile was crossing Central Street to meet his son for dinner on the evening of August 6 last year when Danny O'Reilly jumped a red light and crashed into him before driving off.

John was left fighting for his life with head injuries and a "completely smashed" leg. More than a year on he is still being treated and can only walk small distances with the aid of a stick.

"I was active before, I organised and played in a golf tournament," said John, of Britannia Walk, Hoxton. "Now I've got no activity, I'm bored out of my mind and I'm a bit depressed. It's ruined my life."

O'Reilly, 23, denied an initial charge of GBH, but at a shambolic trial opening at Blackfriars Crown Court last month he admitted the lesser charge of driving without due care.

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Judge Mark Milliken-Smith accused the Crown Prosection Service (CPS) of a "lack of trial preparation" after the main witness failed to turn up and the GBH charge was changed to dangerous driving.

O'Reilly, of Skinner Street, Clerkenwell, denied that too, but eventually pleaded guilty to the careless driving charge. He had already admitted drug possession in a separate case and on Tuesday was handed a 12-month community order requiring 15 days of rehab, a three-month curfew, a £300 fine and was banned from driving for nine months.

"That's nothing, it's disgusting," John added. "I can't walk properly and will never be able to. The CPS forgot to tell the main witness to turn up so he changed his plea.

"I'm going to hydotherapy and stuck on painkillers all the time. I have another operation which may or may not work. I have aches and pains in my back. I can't cross the main road, I can't take public transport. I rely on taxis."

At the trial opening prosecutor Rory Keene said: "This defendant, we say, was driving at speed in a built up residential area, this is a road lines by cafes and shops.

"Also, immediately before colliding with Mr Savile, he jumped a red light - completely reckless of what's going on around him."

A CPS spokesperson said: "We have a duty to keep all cases under continuous review. Following a careful review of the evidence in this case, we decided that based on the evidence available the charge should be changed."

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