Family's lives are "shattered" by dangerous driver who ploughed sports car into their home

A family has told how their lives have been "devastated" by a driver who ploughed his high performance sports car into their living room causing the occupant life-changing injuries.

How the car ended up in the front room of the house.

Read more from the court case

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James Andrew Sparham, 29, was jailed for five years today for dangerous driving and causing serious injury after his Golf R smashed into the house in Rawcliffe, York and set on fire.

The car embedded in the wall of the house.

David and Claire Garnett were watching television at home in the early hours of Sunday September 3, as their youngest son slept upstairs, when the "apalling incident" unfolded and following today's hearing at York Crown Court they said the "devastating incident has brought serious injury, hardship, uncertainty, anxiety and depression" and their lives have been "shattered".

Mrs Garnett had got up to go into the kitchen and seconds later there was what Mr Garnett, 54, described as "the sound of a bomb going off". He ended up buried under debris and rubble and was trapped by that and the car and Mrs Garnett said "to her horror" she turned to see a car had blasted through the side wall of their home and was in the middle of the lounge with her husband buried under rubble on the sofa at the far side of the car.

She climbed over the burning car and cleared rubble off him then climbed back over it having to carry and pull Mr Garnett over the burning car all the while terrified it would explode. She dragged him to safety while the car set on fire, setting fire to the house and all the contents of which were lost.The couple said: "As a result of the incident David sustained multiple injuries including loss of vision in his right eye, extreme lower limb injuries requiring extensive skin grafts, a broken nose and numerous soft tissue lacerations and injuries. "David required a six-week period of hospitalisation at the Leeds Major Trauma unit and York Hospital and a gruelling period of treatment thereafter which is ongoing. David is going to be left with life- long injuries as a result of this criminal incident. Claire has suffered back and neck injuries as well as extensive soft tissue trauma and both have suffered severe Post Traumatic Stress."

They added: “The one place anyone should always be able to feel safe is within the four walls of your own home.”

The Golf is came to a complete stop in the house.

They thanked North Yorkshire Police, ambulance and fire departments for their prompt response and also to family, neighbours, friends and the community for their tremendous support as well as medical professionals both in Leeds and York hospitals and to York school and college for support to their children.

Sparham’s two passengers, a woman in her 30s and a man in his 20s, sustained broken bones, lacerations and fractures.

The labourer, of Geldof Road, Huntington, York, was sent to prison after he pleaded guilty to causing serious injury on three counts by dangerous driving and criminal damage.

He was also banned from driving for seven-and-a-half years and will have to sit an extended driving test before he is allowed back on the roads.

A police image of James Sparham.

It was said in court that during police interviews, Sparham largely made no comment.

The car embedded in the wall of the house.
The Golf is came to a complete stop in the house.
A police image of James Sparham.