Cyclist Philip Benwell to be sentenced today over crash involving nine-year-old Leila Crofts

Bournemouth Echo: Philip Benwell Philip Benwell

A CYCLIST who mowed down a nine-year-old girl on a pedestrian crossing in the summer is due to be sentenced in court today after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

Philip Douglas Benwell, 38, was warned that he may face a jail term after admitting the charge at Bournemouth Crown Court last month, relating to a collision near Branksome Chine beach which left Leila Crofts with life-threatening injuries.

She was taken to the paediatric intensive care unit at Southampton General Hospital following the incident, which took place in Pinecliff Road on Friday, July 26.

Adjourning the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared ahead of today’s hearing, Judge Johnson said: “I regard this as a serious matter and you ought to be aware that custody is very much a possibility in this case.”

Benwell, of Crescent Road, Bournemouth, was also charged with the rare offence of causing grievous bodily harm by wanton and furious cycling, however this was dropped by the Crown in light of his guilty plea to the more serious offence.

Dorset Police said he had fled the scene of the collision and issued a witness appeal for him to come forward.

He was arrested the next day after presenting himself at Bournemouth Police Station.

Leila’s parents Chanine Boulton and Darren Crofts remained at her bedside during her recovery and asked that she be in everyone’s thoughts and prayers. Ten days after the crash her condition was said to be improving.

Comments (13)

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9:04am Thu 19 Dec 13

Huey says...

I hope Leila’s made a full recovery, would be nice if the echo found out and told us
I hope Leila’s made a full recovery, would be nice if the echo found out and told us Huey

9:16am Thu 19 Dec 13

skydriver says...

He should get at least 5 years, that may well stop others from doing similar.
I too hope the little girl is now ok .and hopefully put this behind her.good luck for the future.Leila.
He should get at least 5 years, that may well stop others from doing similar. I too hope the little girl is now ok .and hopefully put this behind her.good luck for the future.Leila. skydriver

9:59am Thu 19 Dec 13

afcb36 says...

Sky driver I think u are a a••••••e the bloke didn't set out with the intention of injuring this poor little girl it was an accident I expect the bloke has been very traumatised by the incident and suffered nightmares ever since sending him to prison is not gonna help the little girl recover any different ok yes he failed to stay at the scene but shock can have a big impact on a person and he done the right thing and handed himself in the next morning
Sky driver I think u are a a••••••e the bloke didn't set out with the intention of injuring this poor little girl it was an accident I expect the bloke has been very traumatised by the incident and suffered nightmares ever since sending him to prison is not gonna help the little girl recover any different ok yes he failed to stay at the scene but shock can have a big impact on a person and he done the right thing and handed himself in the next morning afcb36

10:00am Thu 19 Dec 13

uvox44 says...

"10 days after the crash her condition was said to be recovering " that was in the Summer so why can't the Echo get an update?
"10 days after the crash her condition was said to be recovering " that was in the Summer so why can't the Echo get an update? uvox44

10:08am Thu 19 Dec 13

AlexTLF says...

afcb36 wrote:
Sky driver I think u are a a••••••e the bloke didn't set out with the intention of injuring this poor little girl it was an accident I expect the bloke has been very traumatised by the incident and suffered nightmares ever since sending him to prison is not gonna help the little girl recover any different ok yes he failed to stay at the scene but shock can have a big impact on a person and he done the right thing and handed himself in the next morning
Should we apply this kind of thinking to all people who leave the scene of an accident where someone is seriously injured - including motorists?
[quote][p][bold]afcb36[/bold] wrote: Sky driver I think u are a a••••••e the bloke didn't set out with the intention of injuring this poor little girl it was an accident I expect the bloke has been very traumatised by the incident and suffered nightmares ever since sending him to prison is not gonna help the little girl recover any different ok yes he failed to stay at the scene but shock can have a big impact on a person and he done the right thing and handed himself in the next morning[/p][/quote]Should we apply this kind of thinking to all people who leave the scene of an accident where someone is seriously injured - including motorists? AlexTLF

10:33am Thu 19 Dec 13

skydriver says...

afcb36 wrote:
Sky driver I think u are a a••••••e the bloke didn't set out with the intention of injuring this poor little girl it was an accident I expect the bloke has been very traumatised by the incident and suffered nightmares ever since sending him to prison is not gonna help the little girl recover any different ok yes he failed to stay at the scene but shock can have a big impact on a person and he done the right thing and handed himself in the next morning
Yes you said it ,he failed to stay at the scene is he a man or a mouse, had he stayed my view would be somewhat different , and the same goes for the other comment , should this apply to motorist a resounding YES, the trouble is people should be more accountable for their actions.
Of course he didn't set out to do injury to anyone, alas on this occasion an accident occurred , but because of the circumstances my view remains the the same.
[quote][p][bold]afcb36[/bold] wrote: Sky driver I think u are a a••••••e the bloke didn't set out with the intention of injuring this poor little girl it was an accident I expect the bloke has been very traumatised by the incident and suffered nightmares ever since sending him to prison is not gonna help the little girl recover any different ok yes he failed to stay at the scene but shock can have a big impact on a person and he done the right thing and handed himself in the next morning[/p][/quote]Yes you said it ,he failed to stay at the scene is he a man or a mouse, had he stayed my view would be somewhat different , and the same goes for the other comment , should this apply to motorist a resounding YES, the trouble is people should be more accountable for their actions. Of course he didn't set out to do injury to anyone, alas on this occasion an accident occurred , but because of the circumstances my view remains the the same. skydriver

11:05am Thu 19 Dec 13

Tuppence24 says...

for all those commenting that he failed to stay at the scene he actually did at the time and checked she was ok, it was only after he left that her condition deteriorated. Yes he made a mistake but he didn't set out to hurt her or anyone else, it was an Accident which he contacted the police about when he realised what had happened. The driver who caused Jade Clarks death got only three years despite driving whilst disqualified and leaving her injured and exposed in the road, if he gets more than that then there is something seriously wrong with the country.
for all those commenting that he failed to stay at the scene he actually did at the time and checked she was ok, it was only after he left that her condition deteriorated. Yes he made a mistake but he didn't set out to hurt her or anyone else, it was an Accident which he contacted the police about when he realised what had happened. The driver who caused Jade Clarks death got only three years despite driving whilst disqualified and leaving her injured and exposed in the road, if he gets more than that then there is something seriously wrong with the country. Tuppence24

11:39am Thu 19 Dec 13

BarrHumbug says...

afcb36 wrote:
Sky driver I think u are a a••••••e the bloke didn't set out with the intention of injuring this poor little girl it was an accident I expect the bloke has been very traumatised by the incident and suffered nightmares ever since sending him to prison is not gonna help the little girl recover any different ok yes he failed to stay at the scene but shock can have a big impact on a person and he done the right thing and handed himself in the next morning
Accident: An unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.
He may not have intended to knock down a pedestrian but you have to be pretty stupid to not expect to clash with one when your cycling on a pavement at a red pedestrian crossing?.
[quote][p][bold]afcb36[/bold] wrote: Sky driver I think u are a a••••••e the bloke didn't set out with the intention of injuring this poor little girl it was an accident I expect the bloke has been very traumatised by the incident and suffered nightmares ever since sending him to prison is not gonna help the little girl recover any different ok yes he failed to stay at the scene but shock can have a big impact on a person and he done the right thing and handed himself in the next morning[/p][/quote]Accident: An unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury. He may not have intended to knock down a pedestrian but you have to be pretty stupid to not expect to clash with one when your cycling on a pavement at a red pedestrian crossing?. BarrHumbug

12:08pm Thu 19 Dec 13

saynomore says...

All the cyclists posting on here will stick up for this idiot because they are never in the wrong are they.
All the cyclists posting on here will stick up for this idiot because they are never in the wrong are they. saynomore

12:09pm Thu 19 Dec 13

throatwarbler says...

BarrHumbug wrote:
afcb36 wrote:
Sky driver I think u are a a••••••e the bloke didn't set out with the intention of injuring this poor little girl it was an accident I expect the bloke has been very traumatised by the incident and suffered nightmares ever since sending him to prison is not gonna help the little girl recover any different ok yes he failed to stay at the scene but shock can have a big impact on a person and he done the right thing and handed himself in the next morning
Accident: An unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.
He may not have intended to knock down a pedestrian but you have to be pretty stupid to not expect to clash with one when your cycling on a pavement at a red pedestrian crossing?.
was he definitely on the pavement? i haven't seen any of the details of what happened. I'd assumed he'd hit her on the crossing on the road or something.

Miserable case all round really. Hope the little girl has recovered .
[quote][p][bold]BarrHumbug[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]afcb36[/bold] wrote: Sky driver I think u are a a••••••e the bloke didn't set out with the intention of injuring this poor little girl it was an accident I expect the bloke has been very traumatised by the incident and suffered nightmares ever since sending him to prison is not gonna help the little girl recover any different ok yes he failed to stay at the scene but shock can have a big impact on a person and he done the right thing and handed himself in the next morning[/p][/quote]Accident: An unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury. He may not have intended to knock down a pedestrian but you have to be pretty stupid to not expect to clash with one when your cycling on a pavement at a red pedestrian crossing?.[/p][/quote]was he definitely on the pavement? i haven't seen any of the details of what happened. I'd assumed he'd hit her on the crossing on the road or something. Miserable case all round really. Hope the little girl has recovered . throatwarbler

12:26pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Franks Tank says...

saynomore wrote:
All the cyclists posting on here will stick up for this idiot because they are never in the wrong are they.
Hasn't happened in any of the coverage of this case yet but, when you see it happening you'll be sure to let us know wont you?
[quote][p][bold]saynomore[/bold] wrote: All the cyclists posting on here will stick up for this idiot because they are never in the wrong are they.[/p][/quote]Hasn't happened in any of the coverage of this case yet but, when you see it happening you'll be sure to let us know wont you? Franks Tank

12:58pm Thu 19 Dec 13

skydriver says...

afcb36 wrote:
Sky driver I think u are a a••••••e the bloke didn't set out with the intention of injuring this poor little girl it was an accident I expect the bloke has been very traumatised by the incident and suffered nightmares ever since sending him to prison is not gonna help the little girl recover any different ok yes he failed to stay at the scene but shock can have a big impact on a person and he done the right thing and handed himself in the next morning
Now who is the a-----e, as you articulately say, 12 months, I'm pleased others feel the same way, albeit a difference in the time period..
[quote][p][bold]afcb36[/bold] wrote: Sky driver I think u are a a••••••e the bloke didn't set out with the intention of injuring this poor little girl it was an accident I expect the bloke has been very traumatised by the incident and suffered nightmares ever since sending him to prison is not gonna help the little girl recover any different ok yes he failed to stay at the scene but shock can have a big impact on a person and he done the right thing and handed himself in the next morning[/p][/quote]Now who is the a-----e, as you articulately say, 12 months, I'm pleased others feel the same way, albeit a difference in the time period.. skydriver

5:20am Fri 20 Dec 13

Old Boscombe Lad says...

Hope she'll be able to put this behind her over Christmas. Merry Christmas Leila all the way from Vancouver, Canada.
Hope she'll be able to put this behind her over Christmas. Merry Christmas Leila all the way from Vancouver, Canada. Old Boscombe Lad

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