A BOY was ‘catapulted’ into the air by a banned driver while riding his sister’s scooter, a court has heard.

Anthony McKenna, 34, had taken his mother’s car and was driving to buy his girlfriend’s mother flowers when he hit the eight-year-old boy who was riding the scooter on Newchurch Road in Bacup just after 6.30pm on June 24.

Preston Crown Court heard how the family was crossing the busy road to a central island with the boy when a dark grey BMW hit him.

Prosecuting, Jane Dagnall spoke of how witnesses described the car as being driven ‘erratically’, ‘very quickly’ and ‘twitching from side to side’ – with a witness who was 60 yards away describing the boy as being ‘catapulted’.

The car then sped off towards Rochdale Road before it was abandoned near Todmorden.

The boy’s mother was screaming for help, with many people rushing to the family’s aid before an ambulance arrived.

An air ambulance took the boy, from Bacup, to Manchester Children’s Hospital where scans showed he had suffered ‘traumatic brain injury’ with several haemorrhages to his brain.

He was in an induced coma for five days and is recovering slowly, however he has shown several behavioural differences, using unacceptable language, and getting angrier more quickly.

McKenna, of Newchurch Road, Bacup, spoke with his mother just minutes after hitting the boy, saying, “I have taken your car and hit a kid”, before telling her he wanted to ‘top himself’.

Ms Dagnall said: “There is no doubt that he realised the gravity of what he had done.”

The boy was described as a ‘wonderful, happy boy’ who had a fantastic relationship with his father.

A statement from the boy’s mother said: “I blame myself. I wish it could have been me that collided with that car.

“I should have been able to stop this and protect him.

“I could have lost him. He left us in the road.”

Defending, Brendan O’Leary said: “He wishes to sincerely apologise to them.”

McKenna had previously pleaded guilty to causing serious injury while driving while disqualified, unauthorised vehicle-taking aggravated by an accident which resulted to injuries to the boy, driving while disqualified and without insurance, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident and driving without due care and attention.

He was sentenced to two years in prison, half of which will be served on licence, and banned from driving for four years and eight months.