Her comments came after a jury’s unanimous guilty verdict against defendant Darren Jacques, who had denied causing the death of Layton Harwood by driving while disqualified.
During a five-day trial at Newcastle Crown Court, the jury heard disturbing details of the police investigation, as well as a witness statement from another child who was at the scene of the tragedy in Fenham, Newcastle, in August 2020
The court also heard that Jacques, who turned 42 during the hearing, had been provided a Ford Transit tipper and trailer by his employer despite being in the middle of a 42-month driving ban following his drink-drive conviction was imposed while driving.
Read more: Disqualified driver convicted of killing five-year-old boy in Newcastle
Jacques, a subcontractor from Cumbria, traveled to Newcastle with some colleagues to carry out utility work in Fenham.
It was only moments before he was due to begin the journey back to Cumbria before the collision on August 25th.
He stopped on Willow Avenue, bought a bottle of beer at the store and began driving off, seemingly unaware that Layton, who had been at the store at the same time, had climbed onto the trailer before being struck and falling from the vehicle.
Witnesses described desperate attempts to save Layton’s life and perform CPR before paramedics arrived.
Telecommunications data later recovered by police revealed that there was contact between Jacques and his employer in the moments after the devastating collision, revealing that details about another man had been passed on to him to pass on to police.
Jacques continued to lie about his identity for about two hours while doctors and paramedics nearby tried to save Layton’s life.
But it was only when officers from Northumbria Police’s motor patrol division asked him to use a mobile fingerprint scanner that he confessed his true identity.
Jacques was then arrested, taken into custody and an investigation was launched.
However, later that night, Layton died in hospital as a result of his injuries.
Jacques, of Hutton Hill, Penrith, was subsequently charged with causing Layton’s death by driving while disqualified.
Read more: Layton Darwood death: Penrith man in court over Newcastle crash
He was released on bail following today’s sentencing and was due to return to court on December 4 to be sentenced following a sentencing report by the Parole Board.
But Judge Robert Adams warned him that he would face a prison sentence.
After the hearing, Layton’s mother Stephany issued a statement on behalf of the family.
It said: “We are devastated by what happened and miss Layton beyond words.”
“He was a loving, happy little boy who had his whole life ahead of him and the day we lost him was our worst nightmare come true.
“Although there is some sort of justice today, it is a very bittersweet situation.
“It took a long, hard three years, with many setbacks and challenges along the way.
“Without the determination of my mother and Northumbria Police we would not be here today seeing justice served for Layton.
“A common saying in policing is actions not words, and in this case the actions of Sergeant Ray Lowery, Sergeant Russ Surrey and PC Greg Huntley far exceeded any words ever spoken.”
After the trial, officer in charge of the case, Sgt Surrey of Northumbria Police, said: “To say this case has been devastating would be a complete understatement as the loss of Layton has caused this family unimaginable pain and suffering that no one ever has should.” has to go through.
“I would like to commend the strength and resilience they have shown throughout the investigation and subsequent court proceedings.
“I truly hope that today can be the first step toward the closure they deserve and help them move forward from this terrible, tragic incident.”
“I am pleased that the jury saw through Darren Jacques’ excuses and lies.
“Despite his road ban, he drove unashamedly for work and was even in control of a large, heavy vehicle which he was neither trained nor qualified to operate.
“Furthermore, instead of admitting what he had done, Jacques gave another person’s details to the officers present to cover his tracks, but our roadside checks caught him in the act.
“He had many opportunities to admit what he did, but instead refused to accept his actions, repeatedly denied what he had done and put Layton’s family through the agony of a trial.
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“Jacques’ behavior was completely unacceptable and I hope he can now reflect on the seriousness of his actions.
“This case has had a profound impact on everyone involved, including the officers and staff who helped bring Jacques to justice, and it goes without saying that no one, especially a young child, should ever lose their life on our streets .
“We all have a responsibility to drive safely and in accordance with the law. Layton’s death is a stark reminder that a momentary loss of concentration or failure to perform the most basic checks has the potential to destroy many lives.”
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/23767268.mother-layton-darwood-speaks-unimaginable-pain-losing-son/?ref=rss Layton Darwood’s mother speaks of “unimaginable pain” over the loss of her son