Justice for woman who lost leg in hit-and-run as drink driver jailed

By Daniel Gee   |   Head of Content   |
Monday 13th June 2022 11:15 am
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Angel Taylor, now aged 22, was found lying on the Farnham bypass in the early hours on June 5, 2021, after being hit by a car, which resulted in the loss of her left leg ()

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A drink driver who left a Farnham woman for dead after drinking more than 11 cocktails and 15 shots and getting behind the wheel has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Michael Marsden, 23, of Laburnham Road, Aldershot, was handed an immediate jail sentence at Guildford Crown Court last Friday (June 10) after pleading guilty to multiple offences.

Officers were called to the A31 Farnham Bypass in the early hours of Saturday, June 5, 2021 after a collision involving a car and a pedestrian, where the car had failed to stop.

Angel Taylor, the then-21 year old victim, had been walking home when she was hit by a car with such impact that she lost her left leg.

Off-duty police superintendent Adam Smith was driving home from work when he came across Angel lying in the road. He administered life-saving medical attention to the victim along with an off-duty paramedic Jen, using his belt as a torniquet to prevent further blood loss.

On the night of the crash, officers identified a blue BMW which they believed to be involved in the collision.

Michael Marsden’s police custody photo
Michael Marsden’s police custody photo (Surrey Police )

It was discovered this belonged to Marsden (pictured above), and officers recovered this vehicle from an address in Farnham where they found the car to have a cracked front bumper and was missing a wingmirror.

When questioned by police, Marsden claimed that he believed he had hit an animal and blamed the foggy weather conditions.

He was arrested and toxicology revealed that he was over the drink driving limit.

Marsden had been at a ‘bottomless brunch’ event in Guildford, where he drank around 11 cocktails before getting in his car to drive to more pubs in Aldershot where he consumed a further 15 shots and two pints.

Analysis of his phone records then showed that the day after the collision, he had been looking at Surrey Police’s appeals for witnesses and had messaged friends and family about the collision.

He was charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving when over the legal drink drive limit, failure to stop and failure to report.

Marsden appeared at court on Friday (June 10) where he was sentenced to three years in prison and was disqualified from driving for 54 months.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Rick Edwards said: “Throughout this investigation, Marsden has shown no remorse for what he has done and has even been witnessed mocking the collision amongst his friends.

“The victim has shown immense bravery this past year and I hope that this result gives her some closure and allows her to move forward with her life. It was extremely lucky that Superintendent Adam Smith was driving past at that moment and he, along with the paramedics involved saved the young victims life.”

A31 Farnham Bypass
A31 Farnham Bypass (N Chadwick )

Following the conclusion of court proceedings, the victim Angel thanked Surrey Police for the support throughout this investigation.

Angel was walking home after spending an evening with friends at The Six Bells pub in Hale Road, Farnham.

After the collision, she was taken to hospital, with friend Elodie Fall confirming shortly afterwards that she faced “life- changing injuries”.

On launching a fundraising campaign to support her friend in June 2021, Elodie said: “Her arm, pelvis and lower back have been so badly crushed they have had to be bolted back together.

“She has a broken rib, but worst of all, the impact of the accident took her left leg off. They couldn’t save the leg.

“She has had her leg amputated above the knee and will live the rest of her life in pain – a young woman who will live the rest of her life restricted.

“My best friend will have to adjust to living with a disability and has rehabilitation ahead of her.

“We are trying to raise money to get her the best rehabilitation and prosthetics.

“She will also need expensive legal help to get the money she needs to live an independent life again.”

Elodie added: “The A31 through Farnham has a multiway crossing for pedestrians and drivers.

“This crossing is especially dangerous at night, where drivers pass through the crossing at great speed and will not see any pedestrians until the last minute.

“While everyone is now back at the pub, we are asking people to begin to think again about the risk of driving home. A young woman’s life has been changed forever.”

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