A HIT-AND-RUN private hire driver has been jailed after a court heard his young victim "could have died" after he mowed her down in broad daylight.

Christopher Jeffrey fled leaving Alexis Rickard-McAdam lying in a busy road with a broken ankle and bruising.

Alexis, who was 20 at the time of the collision, suffers from a rare medical condition, Hypopituitarism, which means she needs an emergency steroid injection if she suffers any trauma.

She normally carries her medication with her but had just popped round the corner from her Bournemouth home to get some milk so did not have it to hand.

Her mum, Vicky, told the Daily Echo: "She was able to contact me and I ran as fast as I could to get home. Paramedics brought her straight home before taking her to hospital and she was able to have the injection.

"If she had been knocked unconscious no one would have known and she could have died. This has caused her great distress and she has had to have counselling.

"The first time she went out after it happened she was unable to cross the road because she was too scared and thinking about what could have happened."

Jeffrey, 33, of Sandbanks Road in Poole admitted driving without due care and attention and failing to stop after an accident in which a person was injured when he appeared before magistrates in Poole.

He was jailed for 16 weeks with reasons given by the court that "offence so serious, shocking incident, drove off, left victim on the road, she could have died, caused serious physical and mental injury and long-term effect on the victim."

He was also banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115.

The court heard the collision took place on the afternoon of Thursday January 12 last year, opposite the Sovereign Centre in Ashley Road, Boscombe.

Jeffrey was driving a silver Skoda Octavia private hire vehicle but was off duty at the time, the court was told.

Vicky said her daughter, a special needs teaching assistant at Linwood School, has suffered stress as a result of the court case, which has taken nearly 18 months.

She said: "He only pleaded guilty at the very last minute so she thought she would have to give evidence - it's been a terrible time for her."

Jeffrey worked for Mobile Radio Cars where a spokesman said he will no longer work for them.

Cllr Andrew Morgan, cabinet member for licensing at Bournemouth council: "Any future application would have to be considered by the Licensing Board but it seems as if this man would not be a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

"We expect the highest standards of behaviour from all drivers who have the privilege of driving within the Bournemouth community and we would take a very dim view of this behaviour. We welcome the decision of the court."

Police Constable Mel Rooney, of Boscombe police, said: “Jeffreys' careless driving left the victim with some nasty injuries. He clearly knew a collision occurred, but failed to stop at the scene, showing little regard for her welfare.

"This case serves as a reminder of the serious consequences of failing to observe the law when getting behind the wheel of a car."