Hit and Run victim vows to campaign for overhaul of the justice system

Luke Mason Credit: Family photo

By Kris Jepson

A hit and run victim from Teesside has launched a petition to campaign for an overhaul of the justice system and fight for tougher sentences after the man who ran him down was handed a four year sentence, but will only serve 16 months in prison.

Speaking for the first time on TV, 18-year-old Luke Mason told ITV News Tyne Tees "I just haven't got any justice whatsoever. No amount of time would have been enough for the offender to get in jail, but I think the sentence that was given is just a joke".

Warning: @krisjepson's report contains pictures from the start of the incident itself and some of the horrific injuries Luke suffered:

Luke Mason and his friend Matthew Lockwood were hit by the car outside the Empire nightclub on Corporation Road in Middlesbrough in the early hours of the 15 October last year.

Matthew Lockwood sustained minor injuries and needed 20 stitches for a cut above his eyebrow, where a piece of metal had embedded into his head.

Luke Mason was put into an induced coma and had major surgery on his back to have metal plates fitted to his spine. He suffered injuries to his head, spine, neck and stomach.

I just remember walking out of Empire with my friend, Matthew, and then looking to my left and seeing the car approach and just about to hit us. It's strange. When it hit, the world went black, I sort of came in on myself, it was like nothing was happening around me. It was really strange. The best way to describe it, is that it was like going into a dream. It doesn't feel real. Then the next thing I know, I'm on the floor and there's blood starting to form around my head and I'm thinking stay alive, stay alive, stay alive!

Luke Mason
Hadi Hamid Credit: Cleveland Police

On Tuesday 40-year-old Hadi Hamid was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, after previously claiming he was not at the wheel at the time of the accident.

He will serve 16 months in prison before being released and Mr Mason says that sentence is not severe enough.

The injuries have been absolutely life changing. I will never be quite like I was before. We don't know if I will be able to drive again, I can't really dress myself, can't really wash myself, I can't play football again. Everything I once liked to do, I mean I'm a very independent person, and it's just been taken away from me. Life will never be the same for me again... I always wanted to reform the legal system. I always held strong beliefs on it and thought that it needs changing, but I never thought I'd actually be part of it. I never thought I'd be one of the victims that I’d want to help, but now I am and it’s made me all the more determined.

Luke Mason
Hit and run