Page last updated at 15:35 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

BMW driver knocked down student

A BMW wheel
Shaw was driving a convertible BMW

A BMW driver who knocked down a student in Belfast has avoided a jail sentence after he showed "genuine remorse".

Ryan Shaw, 25, from Swallow Close, Comber admitted causing grievous bodily injury to Ciara Denvir by dangerous driving on 15 August 2007.

Shaw fractured Miss Denvir's skull when he ran over her with his convertible on College Square East.

He was sentenced to 240 hours of community service and banned from driving for three years.

The judge at Belfast Crown Court heard that Shaw hit Miss Denvir as she crossed the road at a pedestrian crossing.

Although the lights were green for him to go, prosecuting lawyer Tessa Kitson said Shaw should have seen Miss Denvir and her friends as they crossed the road.


However, the lawyer said Shaw had failed to take any action to avoid a collision until immediately before the impact.

After he hit the brakes, his car ended up on top of Miss Denvir's leg.

She also sustained a fractured skull and suffered a significant loss of hearing.

Passers-by asked Shaw to move the convertible from on top of her but when he did so, he drove off a short distance, followed by a taxi driver who told police at the scene he found Shaw in an "extremely shocked" state at what had happened.

Defence lawyer Richard Greene told the court that Shaw had and continues to hold, genuine shock and remorse.

He said his client had enquired after Miss Denvir's condition numerous times.

In handing down the community service order on Wednesday, Judge Tom Burgess said he accepted the accident had been as a result of a "momentary lapse in concentration".

He warned Shaw, who has a clear record, that if he did not complete the community service he would go to jail.

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