A man facing a potential jail sentence for leaving a motorcyclist with life-changing injuries has failed to appear in court to learn his fate.
Farm worker Krasimir Kardashlakov was due to be sentenced for causing the horror crash that left Leon Zanre in hospital for five weeks, but is believed to have fled the country.
Kardashlakov, 32, was at the wheel of his friend’s black BMW X5 turning onto the A257 Wingham Road from Cherville Lane in Bramling, near Canterbury, when the collision occurred shortly before 6pm on July 11.
He was not insured to drive the car, and Mr Zanre suffered a punctured left lung and injuries to his pelvis, spine, knee and shoulder which changed his life forever.
Kardashlakov, who works as a seasonal labourer, was charged with causing serious injury by careless driving and driving without insurance.
But this week he failed to show at his sentencing hearing as the court heard it is believed he has returned to Bulgaria.
After the initial hearing, Mr Zanre spoke out about the "devastating" impact the crash has had on his life.
The 35-year-old dental technician, from Sandwich, told how he had to learn to walk again after suffering pelvic and spinal fractures, as well as internal bleeding, and had to cared for by his wife Zoe after the crash.
Medics have advised him it could be another two or three years until he can walk properly again.
He said: "I was in such a bad way in hospital that I didn’t even get to see my son, Abel, for five weeks, which was heartbreaking. When I got home, I had to use a Zimmer frame and I now use a stick to get about.
"It could be a long time before I can walk properly again and to be told that was incredibly upsetting. I also don’t know if I’ll ever return to work."
During Kardashlakov's first court appearance in January, prosecutor Dylan Bradshaw told magistrates: “The defendant failed to exercise the appropriate degree of care when driving his friend’s BMW.
“He merged the BMW into Wingham Road, giving him insufficient time to avoid the rider as the motorbike was already on the carriageway and this is what caused the collision. Mr Zanre suffered life-changing injuries."
The court also heard Kardashlakov, who gave an address of New Place Farm in Wingham Lane, Ickham, suffered a lapse in concentration following a day at work and was said to have waited correctly at the junction for one vehicle to pass, but then pushed out into the road, causing the crash.
District Judge Justin Barron was told Kardashlakov had been tired and exhausted from working long hours in the heat on the farm, having started that day between 5am and 6am.
He was also told the visibility at the junction was not the best as there were overgrown hedges, obscuring his vision of the route.
However, the plants have since been trimmed back, the court heard.
Despite the defendant’s guilty pleas, Judge Barron said he wanted an update on Mr Zanre’s progress and condition before he sentenced Kardashlakov, and said the lack of vehicle insurance was an aggravating feature of the offence.
He ordered a pre-sentencing report be carried out on Kardashlakov, which included the possibility of a custodial sentence, and he was granted bail and given a interim driving ban.
He was told to return to court on Thursday, April 13, but failed to attend.
It is thought he may be in Bulgaria, and Judge Barron has issued a warrant for his arrest.
In these circumstances it is understood authorities may now apply to go through the extradition process to bring Kardashlakov back to the UK for sentencing, as there is an extradition agreement between the two countries.