Drug-driver admits knocking down girl

A man who drove into a 10-year-old girl at 44mph after taking cannabis and cocaine is facing a jail term after admitting dangerous driving.

Saturday, 24th June 2017, 5:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:30 am
The scene of the crash on Bourges Boulevard

Elisha Hills-Steedman suffered a fractured skull when she and her mum were hit by James Millard’s Ford Focus as they walked along the pavement on Bourges Boulevard in Peterborough City Centre. He sped off, leaving the youngster for dead.

Yesterday (Wednesday) Millard (22) of High Street, Fletton, appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and two counts of drug driving.

The court was told Elisha and her mum were coming back from a family trip to Peterborough Museum at about 3.30pm on Sunday, February 12 this year.

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The scene of the crash on Bourges Boulevard

Anthea Harris, prosecuting, said: “The speed limit on the road is 30mph. Investigations show Millard’s car was travelling at between 57mph and 59 mph when he lost control. He collided with Elisha and her mum at 44mph.

“He then hit a wall, and ended up in the carriageway.

“He drove away and went home. His family then took him to Thorpe Wood Police Station.”

Miss Harris said there had been rain on the day, and two of the tyres on the Ford Focus had an illegal tread depth.

Elisha Hills-Steedman (10) with family Annalise Hills-Steedman (6), Celeste Hills (16) and parents Michelle and Andy Steedman recovering after the crash in February.

She said: “The vehicle examiner said even without the standard of driving, the condition the tyres were in made the car dangerous to drive.”

Elisha spent a number of days in hospital, and doctors feared she may have suffered brain damage. However, she is now recovering from her injuries at home. Mum Michelle Steedman (40) was also badly hurt in the incident, and needed hospital treatment.

District Judge Ken Sheraton said the case was too serious to be sentenced at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court, and sent the case to be heard at Peterborough Crown Court, where judges have greater sentencing powers.

The case will be heard on a date to be confirmed, and in the meantime probation pre-sentence reports will be carried out.

Elisha Hills-Steedman (10) with family Annalise Hills-Steedman (6), Celeste Hills (16) and parents Michelle and Andy Steedman recovering after the crash in February.

Millard, who was supported by his family in court, was released on unconditional bail until the hearing, but Judge Sheraton imposed an interim driving disqualification until the next hearing.

l Elisha was a winner at the Peterborough Telegraph Pride in Peterborough awards on Tuesday night, picking up the Child of Courage award. For pictures and reaction from the night, turn to page 22.

Hit and run victim Elisha Hills-Steedman (10) back at home from hospital
Elisha in hospital
The scene of the crash on Bourges Boulevard
Elisha Hills-Steedman (10) with family Annalise Hills-Steedman (6), Celeste Hills (16) and parents Michelle and Andy Steedman recovering after the crash in February.
Elisha Hills-Steedman (10) with family Annalise Hills-Steedman (6), Celeste Hills (16) and parents Michelle and Andy Steedman recovering after the crash in February.
Hit and run victim Elisha Hills-Steedman (10) back at home from hospital
Elisha in hospital