It was a self-described “stupid mistake” that changed the life of one man and has left another facing jail.
Jakob Thornton was looking down at his mobile phone when he ploughed into police officers Jonathan Wright and Matthew Foley in Sydney’s southeast in February last year.
One needed his leg partly amputated.
On Tuesday a court heard Thornton sent 29 messages on his phone before the accident.
“All I can do is apologise and pray that they both recover,” Thornton wrote in a letter.
“Causing that much damage for such a stupid mistake has weighed very heavily on myself and I am sure it will follow me for the rest of my life.”
The 22-year-old mowed down the constables while they were setting up an RBT stop on Campbelltown Road.
The court heard that Thornton sent 29 messages during the 35 minute trip from Kirrawee to Leumeah.
He admitted looking down at his phone for between 10 and 20 seconds and travelling up to 300 metres before looking up and realising the officers were there.
It was “like someone driving with their eyes closed”, the judge was told.
Foley suffered a fractured leg, while Wright had his leg amputated below the knee.
“Because of limited physical capabilities I have had to reconsider having further children,” he wrote.
It is expected Thornton will receive a considerable discount at sentencing because of his young age, no prior convictions, early guilty plea and the fact he has shown remorse.
He will be sentenced next month and faces up to seven years in jail.
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