https://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet/new ... er-192502/
A postman fought back tears as he revealed how his life has been changed forever by a driver who knocked him down and left him seriously injured in the road.
Vince Marsh was airlifted to a London hospital in a critical condition after he was struck by Sheree Fogarty's car in Margate in January.
But Fogarty, 43, drove off, leaving him on the ground with a head injury, fractured eye socket, four broken ribs, a broken leg and shattered kneecap.
She was later arrested on suspicion of drink driving.
Mr Marsh, 59, spoke to KentOnline's sister paper the Thanet Extra outside Margate Magistrate's Court, where Forgarty was convicted last Wednesday of leaving the scene of an accident and failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis.
A charge of driving while unfit through drink was dropped by the prosecution because a policeman was unable to attend court and blood sample results were not provided to the defence.
Fogarty, of Millmead Road, Margate, did not even attend the trial, forcing magistrates to issue a warrant for her arrest without bail.
The trial proceeded in her absence, however, hearing how she had been driving along College Road on January 6 when she hit Mr Marsh at 10.40am.
In his statement, Mr Marsh said he looked both ways to check it was safe before entering his van. He then saw Fogarty coming towards him and says there was no time for him to move out of the way.
Fogarty drove off and was followed by a witness who beckoned her to stop.
"I can’t do much of anything now, but I am a grandad and that makes me happy..." - Vince Marsh
She claimed she was turning around to come back to the scene but CCTV footage revealed her vehicle travelling twice around a roundabout.
Fogarty was arrested and taken to Margate police station, where she failed to provide a breath sample.
"Further footage revealed she was given clear instructions on how to use the machine but rather than blow into the device she sucked air from it. It was then a blood sample was taken for analysis.
Her solicitor, Patrick Cuffe, told the court: “It is accepted by the defence that there was an accident and my client was driving the car which collided with the unfortunate gentleman.
"We have requested the disclosure of statements and the results of a blood sample [in relation to the drink driving charge] that was taken by police and recorded. This is important evidence.”
Because there were no blood sample results, the drink driving charge was dropped. There were further deliberations about whether the trial should be adjourned, but it eventually continued.
Magistrates found Fogarty guilty of both remaining charges.
They said: “We find that Sheree Fogarty did not stop as soon as possible after the road traffic collision and that she failed to give a [breath] sample after she was given every opportunity and shown how to do it.”
Mr Marsh entered the court for the verdict using a crutch - a heartbreaking legacy of the injuries he suffered.
“I am glad it is all over but I cannot believe she didn’t turn up and one of the charges was dropped," he said. "I was told it was because a policeman was away. It should have been adjourned.
“She only stopped as she was followed by a witness - she was hoping to get away with it. By not turning up she has shown no regard to the law or to me.”
The grandfather-of-one revealed how his life has changed irrevocably since the accident.
“It’s the basic things you take for granted like getting up and walking," he said, fighting back tears.
“I used to enjoy walking holidays with friends in Manchester. I had to cancel a trip to China and I can’t garden any more. My leg swells up.”
“I am glad it is all over but I cannot believe she didn’t turn up and one of the charges was dropped..." - Vince Marsh
But is isn’t just the physical pain Mr Marsh has suffered as he revealed he has started to receive counselling to deal with the ongoing trauma.
“Apparently I should not be bottling things up," he said. "I started the sessions last Monday."
Mr Marsh, from Birchington, also misses employment, having been forced to give up his job.
"I worked as a postman for 29 years," he said. "It was a great job. You get out and about and you get to meet people. I can’t do much of anything now, but I am a grandad and that makes me happy."
Fogarty will be sentenced at a later date and is still being hunted by police after a warrant was issued for her arrest.
Police have also responded to one of the charges being dropped.
Inspector Bill Thornton from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit said:‘The decision to discontinue a charge is a matter for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
"The investigating officer provided the CPS with all available evidence gathered following an investigation into the collision, including the toxicology results of a blood sample. An explanation regarding the testing of the sample was also given."
A spokesman for the CPS confirmed they requested police to send the evidence directly to the defence.