A newly-qualified driver’s bid to hit TikTok fame ended with her friend in intensive care with a fractured skull and bleed on the brain after the pair tried to recreate a social media ‘prank’.
Natasha Graham, 19, of South Shields, South Tyneside, was behind the wheel of her Fiat 500 while her friend gripped on to the front of her vehicle in a supermarket car park in Sunderland last November.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that the victim was not named because of legal reasons. They lost control while trying to replicate the social media “prank” and suffered serious injuries which required them to be admitted in intensive care.
Graham was sentenced to a suspension of his prison term for the “immature, but totally irresponsible” driving prank.
Pictured: Natasha Graham (19) whose attempt to be a TikTok Star left her friend with a brain bleed after she was hit by Graham’s car while parking in Morrison’s.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that the victim was not named because of legal reasons. They lost control while trying to replicate the social media “prank” and suffered serious injuries which required them to be admitted in intensive care. Pictured: Royal Victoria Infirmary where they were treated in Newcastle
Kevin Wardlaw, the prosecution’s attorney, told the court that the offense occurred at Morrisons in Sunderland. The defendant tried to make a video in which a car was driven while someone is on it.
The defendant acknowledges that her driving did not meet the requirements of an experienced and competent driver.
Court heard from the victim that she had no other passengers in the vehicle when it was originally reversed.
Graham stopped and tried the maneuver again, but she was able to accelerate forward after coming to a halt.
Wardlaw stated that “The defendant continued to move slowly.” The complainant was expected to keep going until the car is stopped.
It’s not the case of the prosecution that the defendant caused injury to the complainant.
“The complaintant can only recall the event, but can remember being at the parking lot where they made the decision to create the video.
Although it was unclear what caused the victim to abandon the vehicle, one witness reported hearing a crackling sound from the nearby area.
The victim was transported to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and treated for a broken skull and bleeding brain. She has been doing well since then.
Graham, Mr Wardlaw said to the court that he was still learning the car.
Newly-qualified driver Natasha Graham, 19, (Pictured) of South Shields, South Tyneside, was behind the wheel of her Fiat 500 while her friend gripped on to the front of her vehicle in a supermarket car park in Sunderland last November before the stunt went horribly wrong
According to some, the sound of the engine might have caused grip loss and surprised the complainant.
Graham admitted to causing severe injury through dangerous driving.
Tom Gent, the mitigating party, said to the court, “This is clearly an extremely tragic case.” Evidently, she is deeply sorry about what happened. Of course, she wishes that the time could be reversed.
“It was, according to my submission, an imprudent and foolish decision, even though it was made together by the group, but nonetheless foolish and unwise.
“The defendant pulled over her vehicle, got out and immediately ran to the aid of the complainant.
“She called 911 and got a blanket.
“She is a good driver and she has not been involved in any type of trouble that has led to the police.
Graham, (pictured), has been sentenced to a suspended term for his ‘immature and wholly irresponsible’ driving prank. He admitted to causing serious injuries by dangerous driving.
Graham was told by Assistant Judge Advocate General Edward Legard: “This was in all likelihood an irresponsible but immature driving prank which has resulted in a serious injury.”
Cars are not toys. These heavy metal objects are pulled by engines and can often cause serious injury or even death when they are used in an unsafe manner.
“You thought it would be fun and exciting to try to replicate a TikTok video in which one person holds the bonnet of the car while it was being driven about.”
Graham was told by the judge that Graham’s offence exceeded the threshold for custodial custody, however, he agreed to suspend the sentence due to her personal mitigation.
He said, “I accept that your pain continues to be expressed by yourself.”
“There can be no question about your sincerity in your repentance. With some care, I’ve decided to suspend the sentence.
Her sentence was to be served in a Young Offender’s Institute for 12 months, suspended for 18 months.
In addition to being prohibited from driving for 2 years, she must complete 200 hours unpaid work.