A MOTORIST drove through a red light and ploughed into a mum using a pedestrian crossing outside a Workington school at home time.

Philip Gambles, now 53, was behind the wheel of an Audi A4 which struck Katrina McDonald outside Victoria infant and junior school, Honister Drive, just after 3pm on November 17, 2022.

Ms McDonald, 42, had been crossing towards the school in wet weather to collect a child as lights for pedestrians showed green, and audible beeps sounded.

Shocking CCTV footage played at Carlisle Crown Court today (Tuesday) captured the moment she was catapulted into the air in front of other shocked mothers and their children as Gambles travelled from her left, one shoe being dislodged in the impact.

“She just flew in the air,” reported one eyewitness.

“I screamed. The kids panicked and started crying,” stated another mum.

Ms McDonald later recalled: “As I went to cross, I could see all the parents and the little kids walking down the path down from the school towards me and then that's all I can remember.

"I can't remember the collision at all after that; only what people have told me. The next thing I remember was waking up in hospital asking where I was.”

One parent stopped short of stepping across at the same time because her children liked playing with the crossing buttons and were waiting for another round.

Ms McDonald was walking alone. “Her nephew was supposed to be coming with her to school “ said prosecutor Gerard Rogerson. “Fortunately he was late back from the shops. She set off without him.”

Initially, Ms McDonald’s injuries were thought to be life-threatening. She was sedated, placed in a coma and didn’t regain consciousness for nearly a week. Her multiple injuries included fractures to her pelvis, spine and skull, with her home modified in the aftermath and whole family life profoundly affected.

“This impacted every part of my life and has led to some long-term effects which I imagine will stay with me and my children for a while,” she stated.

Ms McDonald had also said of Gambles: “I don't want any harm to come to the driver. I don't know him; I don't even know of him. I know it is not my decision.

"However, if it was then I would like him to get some sort of jail sentence because he did wrong and he should pay for the wrong that he has done.

“What I would like to say is that I would never wish anyone the suffering I've had; not even him. The end of the day, he did wrong, he made a huge mistake but he's human.”

Gambles initially sought to place the blame on her in a first police interview, saying she stepped out in front of him, before seeing CCTV. He later admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

“He is sorry,” said his solicitor, Sean Harkin. “An appropriate degree of remorse was expressed to the author of a (probation service) pre-sentence report.”

Recorder Julian Shaw, passing sentence, told Gambles of Ms McDonald: “It is a mercy that she wasn’t killed, albeit she has to live with the consequences of your dangerous driving for the rest of her life.”

After hearing all submissions, Recorder Shaw suspended a 23-month jail term for two years. Gambles, of Newlands Drive, Workington, must complete 280 hours’ unpaid work, a 12-month night time curfew.

He was also given a 21-month driving ban and must complete an extended re-test.