A butcher who suffered a smashed skull when a drunk driver rammed through locked gates has slammed the soft sentence handed to the thug – who was fined just £200.
Frank Richardson, 21, was waiting for a train when the heavy wrought iron security gates flung open and smashed him in the face.
Drunk driver Benjamin Elvey, 21, was behind the wheel when he rammed his way out of the locked car park.
Frank suffered a smashed skull and a bleed on the brain following the horrific freak incident on April 7 last year.
Elvey, of Cheltenham, Glos., admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and criminal damage when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court last month.
The court heard railway engineer Elvey locked himself inside the car park of the Severn Valley Railway in Kidderminster, Worcs., following a night out.
After calling security to unlock the gate, he decided not to wait for them to arrive and instead rammed his car through the barrier.
The right side of the gate was ripped off as Elvey crashed into it, while the left side swung open and hit Frank on the head.
Elvey handed a 20-month prison sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to do 275 hours of unpaid work.
He was also banned from driving for 20 months, fined £200 and ordered to pay £535 court costs.
Frank, of Droitwich, Worcs., blasted the sentence and recalled ringing his parents from hospital when he believed he was going to die.
He said: “I remember going to a Chinese in Kidderminster, which is just across from where I was, and I was getting a train home at about 11.10pm.
“I decided to stop and sit on the kerb by where the gates are. I remember hearing the revving of a car, and then I don’t remember anything after that.
“Next thing I knew I was waking up on the floor and I was soaking wet. There was something dripping from my head. I didn’t know what it was or what had happened.
“I touched my head and realised it was blood. I remember getting up and I staggered across to where there’s a huge billboard advertising Severn Valley Railway.
“I collapsed, and I was laying against the sign. The ambulance came and then took me away to A&E.
“I was in and out of consciousness. I didn’t know the severity of my injury.
“I then called my parents as I thought I was going to die.
“I repeatedly asked a nurse what was going on and she eventually said I had a fractured skull and a bleed to the brain.
“When she told me that I just threw up.
“My first thought was that I was finished. I thought that was it.
“The police came around, who told me what happened and that someone had been taken in for drink driving for smashing through the gates.”
Frank, who was forced to give up his job as a butcher and his hobby as a volunteer on the railways, slammed the soft sentence handed to Elvey.
He said: “I would have liked the 20 months sentence to have been in prison for that time, instead of suspended, but it is what it is.
“If he puts one foot wrong, he is in big trouble and hopefully it’s an eye opener. What on earth he was thinking, I have no idea.”
Frank spent one night in Worcestershire Royal Hospital before having an operation to realign his fractured skull.
He added: “The hospital saved my life. Until something happens to you, you don’t know how incredible the NHS is. The staff at the hospital were amazing.
“Luckily, my skull has healed, and all is left is a scar on my head.”
Frank has been having occupational therapy since October, as the accident has left him
with short-term memory loss and anger issues.
He said: “It has affected my life. Last year was hard and I have lost so much.
“I couldn’t drive for six months and I live in the country, so it was so difficult to get on with my life. I couldn’t work or do any of my hobbies.
“I am doing pretty good now, it’s just my anger and forgetfulness which is annoying. It makes things that I want to do more difficult.”