Dangerous driver who left woman for dead in Wythenshawe collision jailed

A dangerous driver, who failed to stop after colliding with a woman in Wythenshawe, has been jailed after being tracked down by our serious collision investigators.

Joshua Hartley (32), of Oak Drive, Perth, was sentenced yesterday (Thursday 17 March) to three years and four months in prison after previously admitting causing serious injury to 66-year-old Valerie Sandham by dangerously driving on Altrincham Road in August 2020.

Manchester Crown Court heard how Hartley had sped at speeds of 40-50mph in a 30-zone in his white BMW around 9am on Saturday 22 August 2020 when he went through a red light and struck Valerie as she crossed the road at a pelican crossing after getting off a bus.

While members of the public rushed to Valerie’s aid, Hartley is said by witnesses to have stopped momentarily and looked at the scene of the incident, before proceeding to drive off.

Valerie was taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary with serious injuries where she remained there for a few months before being discharged.

Sadly, she tested positive for COVID-19 in February 2021 and passed away a short time later with medical complications, believed to be, caused by the collision.

A long and meticulous investigation by our Serious Collision Investigation Unit continued as we pursued to get justice for Valerie and her family, before we were ultimately able to locate and arrest Hartley as our prime suspect in October 2021 where he went on to give a ‘no comment’ interview.

Our officers concluded the interview by remarking on Hartley’s apparent lack of remorse or compassion for what he had done, before we later charged him for causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

After speaking to several witnesses and trawling through CCTV footage, we had compiled enough evidence to compel Hartley to plead guilty to the charge he was faced with, before he was yesterday sentenced to serve three years and four months in custody.

Sentencing, Judge Conrad, commended members of the public for helping Valerie at the scene and assisting the police with their enquiries.

HH Judge Conrad also commended the police for their diligent work investigating what was described as a difficult investigation made more difficult by the actions of Hartley.

Sergeant Andrew Page, of our SCIU, said: “This case was particularly traumatic given Valerie’s fight and bravery shown after this collision before ultimately the injuries she had suffered were just too serious for her to continue.

“This is in contrast with the cowardice and remorselessness of Joshua Hartley who not only failed to remain at the scene of the collision after speeding through a red light, but proceeded to evade police for over a year before we ultimately traced him and questioned him about this tragic incident.

“We saw no sign of compassion from Hartley when we questioned him, and it was only when he was presented with the overwhelming evidence in court that he eventually succumbed to what he had done.

“I want to thank everyone involved in this investigation to ensure that ultimately Hartley is where he deserves to be for the damage he has caused ever since that fateful morning in August 2020.

“I hope now Valerie’s family have some closure from this ordeal and I’d like to pay tribute to her family and friends who have been – and will continue to be – left devastated by the events of that day.”

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