Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Teenager McCauley Cox locked up for 12 years after using car as a ‘weapon’ to run over women

CCTV image of the incident and McCauley Cox Credit: CPS/PA/Gwent Police

A teenager has been detained for 12 years for deliberately running over two young women in his car outside a nightclub.

McCauley Cox, 19, subjected the women to a “repeated and terrifying attack” after he ploughed his Ford people carrier into a crowd of clubbers.

Just three days before the attack, Cox was handed a community order for assaulting his girlfriend, who is pregnant with his child.

Cox, who has also served a custodial sentence for possession of Class A drugs and was once on the books of a professional football club, used his vehicle to try and run over a man who was trading blows with his friend, only to miss and repeatedly run over victims Sophie Poole and Emma Nicholls, both 23, who were sitting on a kerb waiting for a taxi home.

On Friday, Newport Crown Court heard the attack in Newport city centre on April 29 had left Miss Poole, from Birmingham, and Miss Nicholls, from Luton, with “serious psychological and physical injuries”.

CCTV image from the scene Credit: CPS

The two women, who are friends from university, suffered “really serious injuries” after being run over, with Miss Poole needing specialist skin grafts and Miss Nicholls suffering a lacerated spleen.

Prosecutor James Wilson told the court: “This was a sustained and repeated assault.

“There are obvious ongoing effects on the victims.”

Mr Wilson read statements from both women in which they detailed the ongoing effects of the incident.

Miss Poole, who was left with severe scarring, said: “I feel self conscious every day.

“I’ve got a constant reminder of what happened to me because of the scars. Doctors said it could take up to two years to heal but I’m still not sure if they will heal completely.

“I’ve worries about my skin healing and my graft falling off. When I have a bad day I feel very low.

“I’ve been told I’m showing signs of PTSD, which could take up to 12 months.”

The car was used 'as a weapon' the court heard. Credit: CPS/PA

Miss Nicholls said: “My spleen almost split in two and I was bed-bound for two weeks.

“At first I had to use a Zimmer frame to assist me walking. The pains lasted for many a month.

“It’s also affected me mentally. I’d never felt anxiety before. I imagine bad things will happen to me.”

Bystanders try and stop the car. Credit: CPS

Nick Gedge, defending Cox, said his client had expressed “remorse” for the injuries he inflicted on the women, and that his life had gone “terribly off the rails” in the last two years.

Mr Gedge said Cox was a “talented young man” who had been signed to a Football League club and had aspirations to become a professional footballer.

But the court heard he had previously been convicted after leading police on a high-speed chase over the Severn bridge, in which he crashed through a toll barrier.

The aftermath of the attack in Newport. Credit: ITV News

Judge Daniel Williams called CCTV footage of the attack “truly horrifying” as he sentenced Cox for two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Judge Williams said: “You are without doubt a dangerous young man.

“You have no remorse for what you did. You think you can do what you please whatever the consequences for others.

“Miss Poole and Miss Nicholls were seriously injured. Both suffered significant psychological harm. But you simply don’t care about that

“You caused serious harm to two young women and subjected them to repeated and terrifying violence.”

Cox, from John Ireland Close, Newport, was sentenced to 12 years in a young offenders’ institute, and banned from driving for five years after his release.

After the sentencing, Miss Poole and Miss Nicholls released a statement saying the attack outside the Courtyard nightclub had “changed our lives”.

The women said: “Not only have we both suffered significant physical injuries, we have also suffered psychological injuries.

“Given the severity of what happened that night we feel very lucky that the consequences were not worse.”