Man run over after being lured on to roadway by Facebook friend

Owen Williams revisits the spot where he was almost killed
Owen Williams revisits the spot where he was almost killed
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A Newton man was seriously injured when he was run over after being “lured” onto a roadway by a young woman he had met on Facebook.

Owen Williams was hurled into the air and left lying in the road after the hit-and-run and he thought he was going to die.

Owen Williams pictured recovering in hospital from his injuries

Owen Williams pictured recovering in hospital from his injuries

Six months later he is still attending hospital appointments and suffering mentally and physically.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the 23-year-old had been in contact with Abbey-lee Liptrot by mobile phone and text messages during the course of the night and repeatedly invited her to a “lock-in” at his local pub.

He told 18-year-old Liptrot, whom he had never met, that she could bring her female friend along but that no men were welcome.

She was in the front seat of a Ford Fiesta being driven around by Robert Taylor, whom she had also met via Facebook, and her friend was in the back seat, said Catherine Ellis, prosecuting.

While they were driving around in the early hours of February 2 this year, Liptrot and Mr Williams were in touch and it became apparent she was in the car with Mr Taylor and the two men argued over the phone and Mr Williams sent him an abusive text.

Shortly before 4am they arrived in Wargrave Road, Newton-le-Willows, by the Sunbeam pub and Liptrot sent him messages saying the car was outside and to walk towards it.

“The prosecution case is that he was brought into the roadway so that something could be done to him,” said Miss Ellis.

Once he was outside the Fiesta left its parked position and 20-year-old Taylor drove it, on his admission, at 30mph along the road, which had cars parked on both sides. “It struck Mr Williams and threw him in the air and left him with a number of serious injuries.”

He suffered four fractured ribs, a fractured and dislocated left shoulder, a small cut to his liver, bleeding in both sides of the chest and bruising to his right lung. He also suffered cuts to his forehead which have left him scarred.

The Fiesta sped off and Taylor considered torching it but instead decided to hide it and told his insurance company it had been vandalised. Taylor and Liptrot were arrested later that day and the car was recovered.

When interviewed they suggested the victim had dived in front of the vehicle. “The prosecution do not accept that account,” said Miss Ellis.

Mr Williams’s friend told how he had “no chance” of getting out of the way and text messages between the defendants showed “no remorse whatsoever”.

Taylor said he had just driven to the pub to see if “it was real” and to see what was going on but got bored and moved off.

Jailing Taylor for 32 months and Liptrot, for 22 weeks, Judge Denis Watson, QC said, “Neither of you showed any remorse at all.”

He told them: “The two of you made a deliberate decision to go to the location of Mr Williams even though he had made it clear that if you Liptrot was with male company that was likely to cause problems.”

Liptrot messaged him that she was not prepared to walk down the road and that she was with a woman friend Taylor Whalley. The clear impression of her messages was to persuade him out of the pub and once he came out Robert Taylor drove at speed and he was hit.

The victim’s life has been “turned upside down” and he is self-conscious of the scarring to his forehead, he said.

Taylor, of Bickershaw Lane, Abram, admitted dangerous driving causing serious injury and Liptrot, of Belvoir Street, Scholes, admitted dangerous driving.

Judge Watson told Taylor: “This was a very serious piece of driving indeed. You knew perfectly well that he was being effectively brought out that pub to facilitate your intention to drive with the purpose of scaring him or terrifying him and you caused those serious injuries.”

Taylor was banned from driving for four years four months and Liptrot for two years and are both banned from contacting Mr Williams for five years and an order was made depriving Taylor of his car. Defence barrister Tom Watson described Liptrot, who was due to start a hair and beauty college course tomorrow, as an immature person and immature mother. She has a young child who she has access to twice a week, he said.

It had been claimed she had been “laughing and smirking” during her last court appearance but Mr Watson said it was stupidity on her part and the recognition of her behaviour that night was slowly dawning on her.

After the hearing, sales executive Mr Williams told the Wigan Evening Post: “I am happy because this draws a line under the whole affair. Abby had been boasting on social media that she wasn’t going to prison so justice has been done and both have restraining orders.

“It means I can get on with my life. The sentences are a massive relief.”