‘In a split second our world changed forever…he’s given us a life sentence of pain’
Exclusive I hear Steve crying himself to sleep at night and I can’t do anything to help him. My heart hurts so much because I still can’t get close to my husband as we have separate hospital beds due to our injuries
A couple say they have been given “a life sentence of pain” after they were knocked off their motorbike by a drink-driver and left with devastating injuries.
Amateur boxing coach Steve Hedges had to have his leg amputated and wife Joanne will never walk properly again because of the catastrophic effects of the crash in Harbledown.
Details of the mental and physical anguish they have suffered since, were read out in court as second-hand car dealer Jeremy Mullins was jailed for 15 months for causing their injuries by driving dangerously.
The 62-year-old, who was over the drink-drive limit, was at the wheel of an uninsured BMW estate when he raced out of a T-junction at Faulkners Lane to get in front of an oncoming vehicle on the A2050.
But the dangerous manoeuvre ended in tragedy, as he ploughed into a Harley-davidson being ridden by Mr Hedges, with his wife riding pillion.
In a victim impact statement, 54-year-old Mrs Hedges wrote: “We had dreams, but in a split second our world changed forever due to someone else’s actions. We have been given a life sentence of pain.
“This horror will stay with me forever. I only have nightmares now, no more dreams of care-free times with my family.
“I can’t even look at photos and videos anymore. That was the old me that doesn’t exist anymore.”
As the couple lay in the road with bone-shattering injuries, which resulted in Mr Hedges needing a partial leg amputation and his wife left with one leg shorter than the other, Mullins was plotting what lies to tell the police to hide his drinking.
In the 25 minutes the couple waited for medics to arrive, 55-year-old Mr Hedges, who was in agony, was only thinking of his wife.
She recalled: “We were both fully conscious on the road. I could hear my husband screaming and begging them [the medics] to help me.
“Even though Steve was minutes away from bleeding to death, he was still more concerned about me.”
Mr Hedges was airlifted to hospital, with his wife unaware if he was still alive. She had to wait three days before staff moved her bed into intensive care so she could see him.
She added: “We had never been apart for so long before.”
Mrs Hedges, a homelessness officer for Gravesham Council, told how before the crash last November the couple enjoyed “a good life” and had just made their first visit to Canterbury Cathedral.
“We both worked hard and were always thankful for the wonderful life and family that we had,” she wrote. “We enjoyed every minute of every day.
“Even after 39 years together we still looked forward to seeing each other at the end of every day.
“We had dreams and had plans for the latter part of our lives together but now, due to someone else’s actions and choices, we have been given a life sentence of pain.
“In a split second our world, and that of our family, changed forever.”
The couple had hoped to move to the coast and enjoy motorbike trips to Austria, Switzerland and Italy.
But Mr Hedges, who is now in constant pain, faces a lifetime of operations on his leg and is expected to be confined to a wheelchair.
“He is now virtually housebound as we can’t get the wheelchair out of the house without assistance,” his wife said.
Doctors managed to rebuild Mrs Hedges’ leg after she suffered three fractures, but she has
The junction of Faulkners Lane with the A2050