THE parents of a teenage boy mowed down outside his Sheffield school have paid tribute as the driver was convicted of causing his death.
Adrian Webster, 43, was told that he will face jail after knocking down 14-year-old Lawrence Moorhouse in December, 2013, when he was described as “driving like a maniac”.
Emergency services tried to save Lawrence at the scene but the injured youngster died the next morning in hospital.
Lawrence’s heartbroken family described how their son had “all his life and dreams ahead of him” and spoke of their devastation at his death.
Lawrence’s Dad, Alan Moorhouse, 51, said: “We were devastated by his death and, although nothing will ever bring him back and it’s taken a long time to get this far, we are now relieved that justice has now been done.
“I only hope that our situation sends out a message to all drivers of the need to take more care when driving around schools and to take responsibility for their actions.
“We lost our son and our daughters lost their brother that day when with more care and attention the accident could have been avoided completely.”
Webster claimed that he had been driving between “28 to 30mph” as he drove close to Sheffield Park Academy, but witnesses described how they saw the defendant driving “like a madman” and “zig-zagging” like in a “slalom” between cars.
Police reconstruction also suggested his car was travelling at up to 45mph on impact with Lawrence.
Caroline Mitchell, representing Lawrence’s family, said: “This incident absolutely devastated Lawrence’s family and highlights the extreme consequences of not taking care when driving.
“A collision can occur in an instant and have a massive impact on many people’s lives.
“It’s crucial that drivers take note of this case and ensure that they are extra vigilant when they are travelling near to schools.
“All too often we are contacted by families whose lives have been changed forever because of children being hit by drivers who are speeding or not paying attention.”
As a result of the incident Lawrence’s family explained that they “now believe that a 20mph speed limit should be introduced around all schools.”
Webster showed no emotion when the jury of seven men and five women returned a unanimous guilty verdict and Judge Mark Gargan said there would be a custodial sentence in this case.
He said: “However, you have not been to prison before but it is appropriate for you to get a sentencing.
“I feel that I need to know enough about you before I decide on the length of the sentence that you must serve.”
Webster will be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on September 11.