A hit-and-run motorist who hit and seriously injured a charity cyclist riding from John O’Groats to Land’s End has been jailed for two years. Stephen Evans had been driving without a licence, while four times over the legal limit, a day after failing an eye test.
On May 22, 2019, Stephen Evans crashed into Jean-Pierre de Villiers near Combe Martin in Devon.
The impact was sufficient to shatter the windscreen of the Ford Focus, but Evans failed to stop.
De Villiers, a fitness coach and motivational speaker, was thrown down a steep bank and spent 15 days in intensive care having suffered internal injuries, two broken legs, a broken arm, and a punctured lung.
The BBC reports that Evans was so drunk police found him collapsed in an alleyway shortly after the crash.
Evans had lost his licence following a 2018 drink-driving conviction. He had taken his ex-partner's car without permission following an argument.
He admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, drink driving, driving while disqualified and uninsured, and failing to stop.
Jason Beal, defending, said he had been suffering from alcohol addiction at the time and had expressed true remorse.
As well as the jail term, the judge imposed a 10-year driving ban.
In a statement, de Villiers said: “I have been asked what I feel about the driver. I feel nothing other than not wanting him to be on the road. I have zero animosity or negativity towards him.
“I forgave him straight away. I even feel sorry for him. For me, this was a life changing experience, but I am grateful to be alive.
“Mr Evans, I want you to know I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. There are consequences and repercussions for what you did to me.
“I really hope that whatever happens to you, you can use the time to heal whatever you need to heal and that you come out of this a better and stronger man. I forgive you.”
Evans, replying from the dock, said: “I wish you the best. I never went out to hurt anyone. I wish it was the other way round. I would not be here and you would not be here.
“I pray for you most days, I pray hard. What you said got to me. I would have thought you would have a lot of animosity. I never meant to harm you, I am very, very sorry.”