Drug dealer who left girl, 10, badly hurt jailed for 14 months

Adam Darbous has been jailed for a crash in Portman Road, Ipswich, which seriously injured a 10-year-old girl

Adam Darbous has been jailed for a crash in Portman Road, Ipswich, which seriously injured a 10-year-old girl - Credit: Archant/Suffolk Police

A 23-year-old man who crashed into a parked car during a police chase and seriously injured a 10-year-girl inside the vehicle, 'ruining her life', has been jailed for 14 months.

Adam Darbous, of Cecil Road, Ipswich, was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court having earlier pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

The court resumed on Thursday where Darbous was given a 24-month sentence for the driving offence, reduced to 14 months for his early guilty plea.

He was sentenced to six months in jail for possession with intent to supply which was reduced to four, to be served concurrently.

The recorder also gave Darbous, a father-of-one, a driving ban running for five years and will have to sit an extended retest.

Recorder Gabrielle Posner said at Thursday's sentencing it had been an "appalling lack of driving" and had caused "heartache and misery". 

She said: "Her life has been ruined by your actions.

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"They [the family] had been going about their business and they have had their whole lives affected by your actions."

The court had previously heard that on February 3, Darbous had reached speeds of 62mph in 30mph zones during the police pursuit, which lasted two minutes, before he slammed into a red Daihatsu car parked on Portman Road in Ipswich. 

The family in the Daihatsu had parked in Portman Road to buy a birthday cake for the young girl as she was turning 11 the following day. 

The girl was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital and suffered a fractured skull and bleed on the brain and was put in a medically induced coma for five days. 

A total of 160g of cannabis, with a street value of £480-£800, was also found in the car after it was seized. 

Darbous handed himself in the next day.

On Wednesday, the court heard injuries are likely to affect her ability to learn in the future, and she struggles to follow instructions.

The court heard after he handed himself in, Darbous read a prepared statement to officers in police interview. 

He claimed his brakes had failed as he came into the road but following the crash, a police crash investigator examined the BMW. 

He said although the brake discs were heavily worn, in his view, the crash "was a failure to negotiate the bend because of the speed the car was travelling", Benedict Peers, prosecuting, had previously told the court.

Peter Spary, representing Darbous, said he was "haunted by the situation" and was "in the midst of turning his life around". 

Following the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Chris Hinitt said: “It is clear from the manner of his driving that Darbous was attempting to evade police due to the cannabis within his vehicle.

“This was a horrific incident for the family injured as a result of his deplorable actions. The young girl is still suffering as a result of this collision, having sustained a significant head injury which is likely to impact her for the rest of her life.

“While Darbous’ guilty plea will not turn back time, I hope it brings some comfort to the family that he has been held to account for his actions.

"His sentence should also serve as a warning to others who decide to drive recklessly of the devastating impact and subsequent consequences it can have.”