A tearful teenager has admitted driving the stolen van which hit three-year-old Leo Durrington and left him fighting for his life.
The 16-year-old boy appeared at Wigan Youth Court today, alongside a 15-year-old boy, after the incident in Westleigh on Tuesday morning.
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Police on patrol had tried to stop a stolen white Ford Transit Connect van on Leigh Road shortly before 10.35am.
There was a brief pursuit, during which the van reached speeds of 50-60mph and began overtaking other motorists.
The fleeing suspects took the roundabout onto Wigan Road too quickly, mounted the pavement and hit three-year-old Leo. He was sent flying around 17 metres into the car park of the Tamar pub.
Police immediately halted their chase and rushed to aid the little boy, but the van fled the scene. It was recovered around three hours later in Abram.
Leo was rushed to hospital for treatment, where he still remains in a critical condition.
The 15-year-old co-accused handed himself into police at around 7.15pm that evening. He admitted to a single charge of allowing himself to be carried in a stolen vehicle.
Around 9.30pm that same evening, police arrested the 16-year-old driver, who shockingly told officers: “Don’t worry, I was going to hand myself in after watching Love Island.”
He pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, failing to stop after a collision, driving without a licence, driving without insurance and a handling charge for the stolen van.
He welled up with emotion as details of the case were heard, sobbing heavily and covering his face. He was led away by prison officers as the case ended.
Both teens, who cannot be named because of their ages, will appear again at Wigan and Leigh Courthouse on November 15. They were each granted conditional bail.