A YOUNG man who took his two friends for a joy ride on the bonnet of his car was jailed on Friday (October 11) after one of them fell off and suffered life-changing injuries.

Chad Baker’s friend, Harry Williams, went crashing head-first to the ground after Baker turned his car into a parking space during the short drive, prosecutors said.

Mr Williams’ fall left him with catastrophic injuries which meant he may need to spend the rest of his life needing residential care, a judge was told.

Baker from Waverley in Bracknell was due to be sentenced for causing serious injury by dangerous driving in the early hours of September 23.

On leaving the Admiral Cunningham pub after last orders, the 21-year-old had fetched his car and driven it around to meet his friends Harry Williams and Charlie Clabburn, who clambered onto the bonnet of his Volkswagen Golf.

READ THIS: Homeless deaths driven by drug poisoning, ONS report reveals

Ms Davies said: “With both of them on the bonnet of the car, Chad Baker started to drive forward. The witnesses indicate Chad Baker drove no faster than - 15 to 20mph - with no harsh steering or acceleration and no sudden braking.

“The witness, Charlie, states he never felt afraid and states the defendant would have stopped if he had asked.

“After a short distance driving, he turned into a car parking space in the car park at the Priestwood Community Centre and Harry Williams fell off the bonnet of the car head first.”

Ms Davies told how the police were called as the extent of the injuries suffered by Mr Williams, who lay motionless on the floor with a pool of blood coming from his head, became clear and Baker was arrested.

The prosecutor added: “The defendant appeared very remorseful during a police interview and asked how Harry was.”

Mr Williams was rushed to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading before being transferred to St Mary’s Hospital in London, suffering from a severe head injury.

In a statement read at Reading Crown Court, his father said: “Doctors had to remove part of Harry’s skull to save him. Even writing that I still struggle to believe it is real.

“Before all of this he had a good life, working, going to festivals, hanging out with his friends. He had his own place, his own job as a roofer.

"There have been times in the last year where he has said to me, ‘just let me die Dad’. This shows that he is aware of how bad his injuries are.

“Harry wasn’t completely blameless about what happened but he would never have agreed for Chad to drive off with him still on the car. It is this decision, made by Chad, all on his own, that has forever changed Harry’s life and ours. All we want is for Chad to admit that decision he made in driving the car so that Harry can get the financial aid he needs.”

Ms Davies said Mr Williams is able to walk as far as 115 metres at a “snail’s pace”, has a very limited memory and will remain in long-term residential care.

ALSO READ: Bracknell Indian takeaways rate high for hygiene

Baker’s group of friends had been spotted riding on the bonnet of each other’s cars 10 or 12 times, the court heard, and were always seen “doing stupid sorts of things”.

Defending, John Simmons said: “Perhaps it illustrates to us all the myopic view we all had at that age that we could do anything, nothing would ever go wrong, that we could always take risks and that everything would always turn out alright.”

The lawyer added Baker had been friends with Mr Williams since he was aged 13 or 14 and knew the victim’s family.

He told how the defendant was “riven with remorse."

Judge Campbell said: “Harry Williams willingly, without any coercion, chose to put himself on the bonnet of your car. You had apparently done this before and so the bravado of youth made you all blind to the consequences.

“I understand it was never your intention to cause the injuries that Harry has suffered, but on mature reflection you do understand the risks were foreseeable.”

Judge Campbell sentenced Baker to 18 months imprisonment and disqualified him from driving for two years.