This is the terrifying moment hit-and-run killer James Davis crashed his BMW into an oncoming car before crushing a two-week-old baby being pushed in a pram in the street. The 35-year-old, who is believed to have been using his phone while driving, is shown drifting into the middle of the road at high speed, losing control of his uninsured vehicle.
Davis, who has today been jailed for six and a half years, was captured on CCTV mounting the pavement before abandoning his car and running away from the scene. Forty minutes later, he called the police to tell them what he had done.
Jurors at Wolverhampton Crown Court deliberated for two hours before finding Davis guilty of causing the death of baby Ciaran Morris for dangerous driving while uninsured. Davis told his trial he blacked out and could not remember hitting Ciaran’s pram on High Street in Brownhills, near Walsall, West Midlands, on Easter Sunday last year.
Moment man tries to walk back into prison rather than spend another night in hostel with sex offenders
Passing sentence, Judge John Butterfield QC said Davis had not attempted to brake or steer before the collision. The judge, who was told that Davis’s mobile from him was hidden from police for more than two months, told him: “As you drove along you allowed yourself to be avoidably distracted.
“I am sure that it was some operation of your phone because what was to happen afterwards with your phone is so highly suspicious.” The judge also remarked on the “cruelness of fate” of the crash, which happened as Ciaran was being walked in his pram for the first time, while Davis had taken a longer route due to nice weather.
The trial heard Davis, who had a teenage passenger, had been traveling at 67mph in a 30mph zone shortly before the tragedy. Following the impact, which left Ciaran’s mother with a broken collarbone, Davis ran off and told a passer-by he “had killed a baby and was going down for a long time”.
Opening the case against Davis last week, prosecutor James Curtis QC said: “This case concerns the tragic killing of an 18-day-old child by an act of exceptionally bad and dangerous driving by this defendant, James Davis. He was driving a small BMW saloon in Brownhills, Walsall – it was in a shopping area, populated by shoppers and passers-by.
“Driving conditions were perfect. Suddenly I have made a manoeuvre which was to prove fatal.
“First he drifted, veered, out of his side of the road, over the center line, and struck a car which was coming in the opposite direction, on the correct side. This did major damage to both cars.
“From there, the BMW swerved in a curve, on the wrong side of the road, and onto the opposite pavement, where a couple were wheeling their new baby, called Ciaran Morris. The car crashed into the pram, before hitting the wall and inevitably stopping.
“It caused fatal injuries to the head and body of that little child, who died in hospital soon afterwards despite all attempts to save him.” The prosecutor said of Davis: “He was fully fit, and he was clear-headed enough, the Crown say, to invent what we say is a false defense.
“The Crown say there is no medical excuse for this driving at all – that is fabrication.” During his evidence of him, Davis accepted reaching 67mph in a 30mph area but said he was driving within the speed limit when the crash occurred.
He told the court: “The last thing I remember was going starry-eyed. I can’t remember any of it. It’s like everything went blank.”
Davis, of Croxtalls Avenue, Walsall, was told he is likely to serve half his sentence before being released on licence. He was also banned from driving for seven years and three months.
After he was found guilty, it emerged that Davis had made 11 previous court appearances for 35 offences, including driving without insurance in 2003, twice in 2004 and again in 2006, drug-dealing, driving while uninsured, drink-driving and theft of a vehicle.
Mr Curtis summarized a victim impact statement, which he described as “utterly harrowing”, made by Ciaran’s parents, Codie Holyman and Cameron Morris. The court was told Ciaran’s mother was so traumatized she did not initially realize she had suffered a broken collarbone.
Mr Curtis said Ciaran was born on March 17 last year, adding: “Of course when she (Codie) first held him in her arms she was in a state of absolute joy and overwhelming love.” Addressing Codie’s view of the day her son de ella was killed, Mr Curtis continued: “ella She feels that she was unable to protect little Ciaran from what happened that day.
“It was the first time they had gone out with the new pram and they were very proud to be walking out with their little boy. But as they put it in their own words ‘The heart is forever missing a precious piece’.”
For more of the latest news sign up to our email newsletters