1. ITV Report

Teenager jailed after two hit-and-runs in four months

  • Watch the full report by John Ryall below

A teenager who carried out two hit-and-runs in four months, killing an elderly caretaker and mowing down a traffic warden, was today jailed for 5 years and 3 months.

Michael Johnson was 17 when he broke onto a farm near Gillingham in November last year and stole a trailer from the site using a white Peugeot Expert van.

As he drove off he ran over 70 year old Trevor Hadlow, who had closed the gate in an attempt to stop him from leaving.

Trevor Hadlow Credit: Kent Police

Trevor, who lived on the site, walked back to his caravan minutes later where he collapsed and died from his injuries.

He was discovered two days later by the farm's owner who was increasingly concerned about being unable to contact him.

Automatic number plate recognition was used as officers analysed CCTV footage to find the vehicle.

Coincidentally, it had been seized by officers on local patrol on Lower Road in Eastchurch about an hour after Trevor had been knocked down.

The van had damage to it which suggested it was the same one which hit Trevor.

Johnson was seen on CCTV exiting the vehicle on the afternoon of the incident.

Johnson pleaded guilty in April this year to the manslaughter of Trevor Hadlow.

Credit: ITV Meridian

Johnson also drove at a traffic warden on the Isle of Sheppey.

He received a 15 month sentence for dangerous driving in addition to the manslaughter case.

The CCTV footage below shows the moment the traffic warden was hit.

The warden wasn't badly injured, but as Maidstone Crown Court heard, the consequences could have been equally serious.

The traffic warden was hit on the High Street in Eastchurch in July last year.

Trevor Hadlow was well-liked in the community and numerous neighbours and friends have told my officers how he was always willing to help them. We accept that Johnson did not intend to take his life but his actions were still cruel and callous. He showed scant regard for Trevor’s welfare when he knocked him over, instead he was concerned about escaping the scene of his crime."

"Nothing will ever put right the wrongs that Johnson has committed but I hope that this court result will offer some comfort to all that knew and loved Trevor."

"My officers worked tirelessly to bring Johnson to justice and built an exceptionally strong collection of evidence that left him with no choice but to plead guilty. I am very proud of their efforts. I would also like to pay tribute to the officers who seized the vehicle in question without knowing anything about the incident, instead relying on their intuition and good old-fashioned police work to know the person driving it had been up to no good."

– Detective Chief Inspector Dave Chewter, Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate