A WOMAN who was struck by a road sign which came crashing down after a van driver came onto the pavement said she had been given a “life sentence” in the form of her injuries.

Bolton Crown Court heard Louise Owen will be in pain for the rest of her life as a result of the actions of roller shutter engineer Daniel Gardner.

The 32-year-old drove on the pavement, near the junction of Wellington Street and Albert Road in Farnworth, and hit a street sign, which hit the head of Mrs Owen, before he fled.

He had denied responsibility for the offence, claiming at the time he had been fleeing a man with a knife after a minor collision in which he clipped the wing mirror of another vehicle.

But earlier this year the jury saw through his lies and he was found guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and jailed.

He appeared at court to be sentenced for his actions in January last year.

Mrs Owen read a victim impact statement which revealed the devastating impact of the accident which took place when her children, aged four and 18, were present.

She said: “As a consequence of this incident I have been constantly in pain emotionally and physically.

“I would like to thank the courts and Daniel Gardner know how he has affected my life. I have no recollection of it.

“My two children witnessed what happened to me, I find it difficult to try to piece together what they say and how they must have felt seeing their mother in such a horrific way.

She said she had been left with memory loss and was unable to cook food for fear it would cause a fire because she left it unattended and was unable to do her former job in her business with her husband.

It added she had withdrawn socially, had lost her sense of taste and smell and had still has to see 30 specialists due to the injures, which included a fracture to her skull.

She added: “I have been told I will live in pain for the rest of my life.”

She addressed Gardner further, saying: “While you were running away I was down on the cold concrete, with my children who thought their mother had been killed.

“You have given us a life sentence and failed to show any remorse for what you did.”

Mark Friend, defending, said there had been a minor collision on Gas Street in Farnworth, Gardner had driven off and had been followed onto another street where he was confronted and asked for insurance details.

During the trial Gardner had said one man involved in this had a knife which cause him to flee in the manner her did.

The court also heard he had nine penalty points on his licence at the time of the incident.

Recorder of Bolton Judge Martin Walsh, passing sentence, said: “I have no doubt no knife was used.

“Your efforts were made up to evade culpability for your actions.

“By driving in the manner in which you did you created a substantial risk of damage to the public.”

He jailed Gardner, from Moorfield Grove in Bolton, for two years and banned him from driving for five years.