A DRIVER was facing jail today after he admitted causing the death of a six-year-old boy as he played with a friend near his home in West Yorkshire.
Peter Renshaw, 22, was driving a Fiat Seicento when he struck and killed Owen Wightman near the boy’s home in Wakefield on June 18 last year.
He admitted causing death by dangerous driving at Leeds Crown Court today.
The case was not opened and was adjourned until Monday when a Newton hearing will take place to resolve other alleged “aggravating features”, which include allegedly failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident.
It is also alleged that damage was inflicted on the vehicle post-collision “with a view to disguise what had taken place”, the court was told.
Owen was struck by Renshaw’s car while out playing with a friend close to his home on Fishpond Lane, Kettlethorpe, Wakefield.
The court was told the speed of the Fiat was also disputed, with the prosecution alleging it was travelling at 59 mph.
Defending, Richard Clewes said an expert’s report suggested the speed could be 53.7mph or higher.
Mr Clewes said the prosecution alleged that his client, of Grange Drive, Emley, Huddersfield, must have realised he had collided with a pedestrian.
“That is something that he does not accept,” he told the court.
Judge Geoffrey Marson QC, imposed an interim driving ban and told Renshaw he could expect to go to jail following the conclusion of next week’s two-day hearing.
Renshaw showed no emotion throughout proceedings, which were attended by the youngster’s relatives.
Renshaw was granted bail and will appear before Judge Marson on Monday.
Owen’s death resulted in a huge operation to find the person responsible. His parents Neil, 33, and Joanne, 31, who have two other children, spoke at the time of their horror.
Recalling the moment he found his son, Mr Wightman said: “I got there and I went over to Owen and I was holding him and talking to him.
“I was holding his hand and saying ‘Owen, if you can hear me, please don’t leave us. I love you so much, you’re my little soldier’.”
Describing their son, Mr Wightman said: “He was a proper little lad, cheeky and a handful. He always wanted to be out playing with his mates, he didn’t want to be stuck indoors. You read about these things in the paper and its awful but you never think it will be you.”
Joanne said: “He had such a lovely smile, I will always remember him smiling. He would walk into a room and light it up.” The couple added: “He was our bundle of joy and our ray of sunshine.”