Actor Louis Emerick, aged 65 and known for his role in Brookside, has received a suspended jail sentence for hitting two 12-year-old girls with his car.
He pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by careless driving at a hearing in May this year.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said he “was not speeding but admitted he couldn’t see clearly because of the sun so he should have slowed down”.
Emerick was given a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, at Wirral Magistrates’ Court.
Emerick, who was charged under his full name, Louis Emerick Grant, was driving his Honda car as the two girls started to cross Poulton Road, Liscard (main image). They were heading to a shop on the other side of the road.
The girls had reached the centre-hatched markings in the middle of the road when Mr Grant’s car was seen to cut the corner of the right-hand bend, enter the centre-hatched markings and collide with them.
Both girls were seriously injured. One suffered a fractured leg and the other, a fractured leg and ankle, a broken nose, a broken jaw and broken teeth. Both were unable to return to school for several months after spending time in Alder Hey Hospital.
Mr Grant was not seen to slow down or brake on the approach to the girls. The weather was dry and clear and there was good visibility. Mr Grant was driving into the sun and was wearing sunglasses.
According to the mother of the older victim, her daughter continues to experience nightmares and recently underwent surgery to have a metal plate removed from her leg.
She further mentioned that she had to sign a consent form, prepared in case of the necessity for her daughter’s leg to be amputated which was “was one of the hardest things I have ever done,” adding”the last eight months have been horrendous”.
The defence said that the defendant had no previous convictions and had been driving for nearly 50 years with a clean licence.
“He utterly and deeply regrets his error on the day in question,” they said.
The defence added that Emerick had not been speeding, drinking, using drugs or on a phone.
Peter Mawdesley, chairman of the bench, said, “Since the accident you have clearly shown remorse and contrition and taken various steps to contact the victims and their parents.”
Emerick was also given an 18-month driving ban and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
At the previous hearing, District Crown Prosecutor Linda Melia, of CPS Mersey Cheshire, said, “This was an extremely distressing incident and the two girls suffered serious injuries as a result of what happened on that day.
“Louis Emerick Grant was not speeding but admitted that he couldn’t see clearly because of the sun so he should have slowed down. The sun visor of the car was not down.
“He has been fully cooperative and remorseful throughout the investigation and has apologised on numerous occasions. He has been in contact with both families and has apologised to them too. He tested negatively at the roadside for drink and drugs.
“When we drive a car we are in control of something powerful that, if we lose concentration or clear vision for a minute, can cause serious injury, even death. It’s clear Mr Grant did not mean to injure these girls, but the events of that day are a lesson that, when we are at the wheel of a car, care and attention are needed at all times.
“When we don’t drive carefully or considerately we are breaking the law and this case is an example of how serious the results of that can be.
”The Crown Prosecution Service would like to thank the girls and their families for their help in bringing this prosecution.”