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Quad bike rider locked-up after hitting boy whose leg had to be amputated

Mathew Bray admitted admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving. Credit: Wales News Service

A seven-year-old boy lost his leg after being hit by a defective quad bike driven by a man high on drink and drugs - and a court heard how the bike rider laughed as he said: "I hit a kid".

Mathew Bray, 20, was today sentenced to three years custody after mounting the pavement to hit schoolboy Lochlan Olden who was walking home with his older sister and friends.

Bray - who had had the bike for just two weeks - knew his brakes were defective and had bragged about drinking rum throughout the afternoon.

But a court heard he jumped onto the bike and sped off at Hopkinstown, near Pontypridd, in May.

Mathew Bray was also disqualified from driving for four years. Credit: South Wales Police

After hitting Lochlan he picked him up, handed him over to a woman.

Lochlan suffered a fractured femur and despite desperate attempts by surgeons his left leg had to be amputated below the knee.

Lochlan's mother Nerys Olden said that her "once sport-loving, confident, outgoing child who was full of mischief and fun had gone".

His life has been turned upside down.

He is confined to a wheelchair. He is frustrated and upset and reduced to tears because he is not capable of playing with his friends.

His personality has changed. He is like a different child. He is quiet and does not converse with anybody when out. He tries to escape contact with people who are not his family.

He is jumpy and nervous when he hears a motorbike. He is a changed child.

– Nerys Olden, Lochlan's mother
Bray was sentenced at Merthyr Crown Court. Credit: PA

Lochlan is due to get an artificial limb at Rookwood Hospital and adaptations will have to be made to their home.

Bray, of Rhos Dyfed, Aberaman, Aberdare, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving without insurance and failing to stop after an accident.

Bray failed a breath test when he was arrested later and tests also revealed he had taken diazepam, cannabis and cocaine in the days leading up to the crash.

Sending Bray to a young offender institution for three years, Judge Richard Twomlow said his hands were legally tied by the five-year maximum and 33 per cent discount for his guilty pleas.

Your speed was described as very fast and ridiculous. You failed to pause and Lochlan Olden was unfortunate enough to be in your way. He was struck by he bike with disastrous consequences.

– Judge Richard Twomlow

Bray was disqualified from driving for four years and will have to pass an extended driving test and will have to pay a £900 criminal courts charge together with the victim surcharge.

Nerys Olden would like to express her thanks for all the support Lochlan had at the scene, for the people and the emergency services, the investigative team and the work that has been done leading through to the court case.

"She has been humbled by the level of support in the community - the fundraising and the ongoing fundraising and the help provided to the family and Lochlan to help them come to terms with his long term injury.

– Steve Jones, South Wales Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit