A shoplifter knocked over and injured a teenage boy as he drove off at speed from a car park, a court heard.
Paul Reeve was the getaway driver when his car struck 15-year-old Dominic Shepherd at Bligh’s Meadow in Sevenoaks.
Maidstone Crown Court was told the victim was walking across the car park with his mother in the early afternoon on April 27 last year.
Prosecutor Bridget Todd said food had been stolen from nearby Marks & Spencer and Reeve, of Frobisher Road, Erith, was waiting in his car.
Another man ran from the shop and Reeve, 49, drove off, hitting Dominic. He fell to the ground. He got up saying: “I am all right.”
He was shaken and had a cut elbow and a lump on the back of his head.
Miss Todd said the car registration number was noted but police could not find it. Reeve then handed himself in.
He claimed he did not really know what was going on. He was waiting for a friend, he said, and saw him running towards the car with a basket of goods.
Reeve said he drove off and did not deliberately drive at the victim, but panicked when he hit him.
He admitted dangerous driving and theft. He denied assault causing actual bodily harm and the charge was left on the court file.
Judge Martin Joy adjourned sentence for reports after hearing Reeve was the sole carer for his 15-year-old son.
Judge Martin Joy sits at Maidstone Crown Court
Peter Melleney, defending, said if Reeve were sent to jail the boy would have to be placed in foster care.
Reeve, he said, had mental health issues and was attempting to break his drug dependency.
The judge was critical because neither Reeves’ driving licence nor record had been produced.
“This case demonstrates the criminal justice system at its very worst,” he said.
“You would have thought it was straight forward but a year later it is far from resolved because neither side can tell the court what it needs to know.”
Adjourning for 28 days and granting conditional bail, Judge Joy told Reeve he should address arrangements for his child in case he was sent to prison.
An interim driving ban was imposed.
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