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Hit & run driver jailed after pedestrian thrown into air

CCTV shows moment pedestrian was injured in a hit & run incident Photo: Sussex Police

A builder who left another man fighting for his life after a high speed hit & run which was captured on CCTV in Brighton, has been jailed for six and a half years.

Fifty-four year old Andrew Payne was thrown into the air and over the bonnet and roof of a Fiat car being driven by Adam McDermott. It happened on Thursday 14th January 2016. Mr Payne was crossing from Montague Place to St George's Terrace when the car hit him - after the incident McDermott sped off. Sussex Police said the car did not brake or stop. Mr Payne, a father-of-three, was left for dead.

The car belonged to McDermott's then fiancee, 30-year-old Robyn Burn. It was found abandoned in Madehurst Close on the day after the incident. She had not reported it stolen, but when questioned told officers that it must have been pinched.

CCTV video of the hit & run was captured from a neighbouring church and released by Sussex Police on 26th January 2016 in an appeal for information. McDermott was arrested that very night.

Today, McDermott, 33, who is already in police custody for another offence was sentenced in his absence at Brighton Crown Court - he had refused to attend the hearing.

Adam McDermott (left) and Clark Walker (right) have been sentenced Credit: Sussex Police

The driver of the car, Adam McDermott, has been sentenced to 6.5 years including 4 years for causing serious injury by dangerous driving and 2.5 years for conspiracy to pervert the cause of justice.

Clark Walker, who was in the car with McDermott at the time of the incident and tried to help him cover it up, has been sentenced to 2.5 years for conspiracy to pervert the cause of justice.

While Robyn Burn, who police believe encouraged her then boyfriend McDermott not to report the incident, received an 18 month jail sentence, suspended for two years - and 160 hours of unpaid work - for conspiracy to pervert the cause of justice.

“I am delighted all three are now facing punishment for their part in the events from that day. McDermott’s manner of driving and that he didn’t stop, shocked and appalled everyone who saw the CCTV. How Andy is still alive and has no major long lasting physical damage is a miracle. It only comes down to sheer luck that we were not investigating Mr Payne’s death.

“I am so glad Andy is alive to see justice done.

“McDermott and Walker will now face nine years behind bars and Burns, although not spending time in prison, will have her life impacted forever by the decisions she made in trying to help cover up her boyfriend’s actions.”

– Sergeant Dan Pitcher, Sussex Police
Hit and run victim Andy Payne and his wife, Lisa, in happier times Credit: Sussex Police

Despite being left with serious head injuries, Mr Payne did not break any bones. He was out of hospital within a week and able to spend time recovering at home.