A 10-year-old girl out shopping with her mum was severely injured when a 4x4 ploughed into a Sussex Sainsbury’s.
Shocking footage played in court showed a silver Kia careering right through the automatic doors of the supermarket in Queensway, Crawley, in August last year, causing devastation.
The little girl had to be rushed to hospital for surgery on her leg and is still unable to walk – eight months after the crash, a court heard.
Driver Mohsin Mohammed, 41, apologised for the ‘terrible tragedy’ and said he had accidentally pressed the accelerator instead of the brake.
Mohammed, of Southgate Parade in Crawley, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving when he appeared at Hove Crown Court yesterday.
Prosecutor Naomi Edwards told the court: “The girl had an injury to her leg and was taken to St George’s Hospital.
“She also had a fractured tibia and fibula and it was that that led to her having to be in hospital for nine days.”
She still cannot walk properly and has had to go to school in a wheelchair, the court heard.
Her mum – who was also hurt in the crash – described how the scary incident has left her and her two daughters devastated.
She said: “My daughters often cry and scream and fear that they will be hurt by a car again.
“We are scared the perpetrator may hurt us further.”
She added that she has been unable to work since the crash, leaving her behind on her rent and council tax, the court heard.
Defence barrister Robert Beighton said his client was attempting to reverse out of a parking space by Sainsbury’s when he accidentally drove forward and hit the car in front.
“He was shocked. He panicked. He turned the wheel sharply to the right to try and avoid the car in front.
“The car then spun and went into the Sainsbury’s store.
“He jabbed down on what he thought was the brake. It turned out it was the accelerator. It was a terrible, terrible accident.”
The crash also caused £8,000 worth of damage to a refrigerator unit, the court heard.
Judge Shani Barnes said the case ‘clearly crosses the custody threshold’ but agreed to adjourn until next month to allow the probation service to interview Mohammed for a pre-sentence report.