Mother-to-be, 22, lost her baby after being thrown from the bonnet of her own car when she clung to the windscreen wipers at 19mph as her friend ‘drove away in it for a practical joke’
- Keeley Harrison, 20, jumped into friend Megan Meredith’s parked Ford Ka
- She began driving her car as her friend tried to stop the car from escaping
- Ms Meredith was flung from car and suffered broken right ankle and right tibia
- Harrison was handed an 18 month suspended sentence at Cardiff Crown Court
A woman who was unaware she was pregnant suffered a miscarriage after she was thrown from the bonnet of her own car by a friend in a ‘practical joke gone wrong’.
Keeley Harrison, 20, jumped into Megan Meredith’s parked Ford Ka and decided to drive away as her friend clung to the windscreen wipers and tried to stop the car from escaping in Bargoed, South Wales, last year.
Ms Meredith, 22, was then flung from the bonnet and onto the road as the car accelerated to 19mph, Cardiff Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Nigel Fryer said Ms Meredith found out she was pregnant when she was taken to hospital but lost the baby after a five-hour surgery for her injures – which included a broken right ankle and right tibia.
On the day of the incident, which took place on March 22 last year, Ms Meredith had picked up Harrison and two other friends and parked her car in the high street.
Keeley Harrison (pictured outside Cardiff Crown Court), 20, jumped into Megan Meredith’s parked Ford Ka and started to drive as her friend clung to the bonnet
The group purchased some cakes when Ms Meredith took rubbish from the car to put in a bin nearby, leaving her keys in the ignition.
When she looked back she saw Harrison in the driver’s seat and when she tried to open the door she found they were locked.
Harrison, who was egged on by friends in the back seat, then attempted to drive away but Ms Meredith tried to stop the car from leaving by holding onto the bonnet as it drove along the street.
She was then flung onto the road as Harrison hit the brakes abruptly on the high street.
Prosecutor Nigel Fryer said: ‘The car started to roll backwards and Ms Meredith lent on the bonnet, shouting at her not to drive the car, and there was laughing and joking in the vehicle. She also believed they were filming her on a phone.
‘She felt the car move forward and was gripping onto the car to try and stop herself from falling. The defendant pulled out of the parking space while she was still on the bonnet and she accelerated up Upper High Street with Ms Meredith’s legs dangling down.
‘She felt the car was being driven fast and she tried to grab hold of the windscreen wipers but she fell off the front of the car onto her right-hand side.
‘She felt confused initially and didn’t know if she had passed out but when she tried to get up she described feeing horrific pain in her right leg.’
Cardiff Crown Court heard CCTV footage showed Harrison crouching down to check on her friend.
But Ms Meredith said her friends did not believe she had broken her ankle and told her to get up.
An elderly man rushed to the scene and began arguing with the friends for the way they had acted.
Following the incident, Ms Meredith suffered a broken right ankle and broken right tibia which required lengthy surgery – and was later told her leg may never recover.
She spent two weeks at the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil and had to take six months off work.
In a victim personal statement, she said: ‘This incident has ruined my life and I am worried about the future, my leg function, and employment.
Harrison accelerated to 19mph when her friend was flung from the bonnet of the car and onto the road, Cardiff Crown Court heard
The defendant later pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving
At Cardiff Crown Court, Harrison was banned from driving for two years and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work
‘I’m not the person I was before and I don’t think I’ll ever be the same person again. I now have to live with these injuries for the rest of my life.’
Support worker Harrison, of Brithdir, Caerphilly, told police she was driving the vehicle but claimed both parties were responsible.
She said her intention was to play a ‘practical joke’ on Miss Meredith – by driving around the coroner to make her think they were leaving.
Harrison pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Defence barrister Jenny Yeo said the pair were no longer friends.
She added: ‘This is a tragic case for all concerned. It was a prank between two friends that went horribly wrong and my client takes full responsibility for her stupidity and her actions.’
Sentencing Judge Jeremy Jenkins handed Harrison an 18 month suspended sentence.
He said: ‘Causing injury to your friend was the last thing on your mind, I have no doubt, but you have acknowledged how dangerous and foolish your actions were.’
Harrison was also banned from driving for two years and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.
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