A pensioner who was enjoying his retirement will never walk again after a boy-racer who had been speeding at 114mph hit the 79-year-old in a ‘deliberate piece of bad driving.’

Jamie Doe, of Ansell Road, Frimley, was today locked up after leaving Kenneth Barnett, 79, in a coma for five weeks. 

During this time, his wife Maureen was twice told doctors were considering halting his treatment as he was not responding to it. 

Thankfully, the 79-year-old former British Airways employee recovered but he was only discharged from a rehabilitation centre last week - almost a year after the collision.

But the man said he now ‘feels lost’ and is ‘unsure what the future holds’ after his independence was snatched away from him. 

Despite claiming to be ‘full of remorse’, Jamie Doe continued to post pictures of the 'lethal weapon' blue Ford Fiesta involved in the incident on Facebook in the months after the ‘devastating’ incident.

What happened?

The incident occurred on September 5, 2021, when Kenneth Barnett was out walking his dog with his wife Maureen just before 4pm. 

The couple, who used to live in Bracknell, were crossing the newly opened road at Observer Way in Arborfield when Mr Barnett was clipped by Doe’s blue Ford Fiesta.

Reading Chronicle: Observer Way, ArborfieldObserver Way, Arborfield

Doe, a 22-year-old tyre fitter, had been speeding, reaching a top speed of 114mph just seconds before the collision. 

He was decelerating as he approached the pedestrian crossing in the middle of the road but Reading Crown Court heard how he was still over the speed limit by the time he hit the pensioner. 

Maureen Barnett heard a loud noise and turned around unable to see her husband, before spotting him lying on the road unconscious and not breathing. 

Jamie Doe had stopped his car further up the road and was confronted by Maureen Barnett, who said ‘you were speeding’, to which he replied, ‘yes, I was.’

A police officer who arrived at the scene described seeing Doe in his car with his ‘head in his hands.’

Passengers in Doe’s car told police the backrest section in the rear of the car had been removed and the backseat passenger did not have access to a seatbelt at the time of the incident. 

The backseat passenger, a female friend of Doe’s, said she was ‘not happy’ she was sitting this way and described the driver as acting like a ‘boy racer’ as he racked up a speed of what he claimed to be 120mph. 

Prosecutor Sarita Basra said the woman ‘didn’t feel safe’ and had ‘no memory’ of Doe braking, adding that she felt the collision could have been avoided had it not been for the driver’s ‘excessive speeding.’

What happened to the victim?

Kenneth Barnett suffered life-changing injuries following the collision, including a bleed on the brain and fractures to his eye socket, spine, ribs, forearm and both legs. 

He was taken to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford for attention and spent the next five weeks in intensive care, only coming out of a coma in early October 2021. 

During this time, his wife Maureen was told twice that doctors were considering stopping his treatment as he was not responding to it. 

His family said they felt like he was ‘trapped in his body’ as he was not able to communicate with them until late October when he was given speaking assistance. 

He was discharged to an Oxford clinic in December 2021 when breathing and feeding tubes were removed. 

Mr Barnett was told he will be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life after being described as a ‘fit-and-healthy’ 79-year-old prior to the incident. 

The pensioner was only discharged from an Ascot rehab centre last week, almost a year after the collision. 

Reading a victim impact statement from Mr Barnett’s family, Ms Basra said the victim and his wife were enjoying their retirement when tragedy struck. 

They regularly went dog-walking and went on two holidays a year together.

They are now ‘struggling to see what the future holds for them’, Ms Basra said, as Mr Barnett needs 24-hour care and their home has needed remodelling to adapt to the victim’s needs. 

In a short statement, Mr Barnett said: “[The incident] has affected my entire life.

“I’m having to learn to do everything again. 

“I feel totally lost. I don’t like having to rely on other people to do things for me.”

What did the defendant have to say?

Doe’s barrister, Ms Husband, said the defendant was sure he broke, swerved and sounded his horn as he approached Mr Barnett. 

The 22-year-old was ‘full of remorse’, the court heard, and ‘reliving’ the incident has affected his mental health. 

The defendant appeared to weep as he listened to the prosecution’s speech. 

Despite this, Doe appeared to continue posting pictures of his blue Ford Fiesta on his Facebook page in the months after the incident. 

What sentence did he receive?

His Honour Judge Nawaz, sentencing, said: “If there was a sentence I could pass that could turn the clock back, I would have no hesitation in doing so.

“Mr Barnett’s quality of life has been reduced dramatically. There is nothing I can do that will change that.”

The judge described Doe’s Ford Fiesta as a ‘lethal weapon’ and claimed it was only by ‘good fortune’ that the defendant was not being sentenced for a more serious offence. 

He questioned why there had been no explanation as to why Doe collided with Mr Barnett, given the court heard evidence that the driver would have had at least ten seconds to avoid the dog-walker. 

“This was a deliberate piece of bad driving and the consequences are devastating”, Judge Nawaz said.

Doe was sentenced to 27 months in prison for causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday, August 9. 

He was banned from driving for 49 months.