'I'm the prisoner, not her!'


Rebecca Cole

A WOMAN who suffered horrific injuries after being hit by a drunk-driver is disgusted by the sentence imposed on the culprit.
Gillian Varley and her heavily-pregnant niece Kayley Varley were knocked down by Clare Marie Janicki as they walked home from an enjoyable Sunday lunch with family in Oswestry last September.
Gillian, of Unicorn Road, Oswestry, suffered horrific injuries which she is still battling and Kayley, who was 39 weeks pregnant at the time, was terrified for the safety of her baby after both women were knocked to the ground while crossing Llys Road.

Clare Marie Janicki, from Hawthorn Grove, Oswestry, was spared immediate custody but was handed a 12-week sentence, suspended for 12 months, after pleading guilty to drink-driving, failing to stop after an accident and driving without due care and attention.
Miss Varley, who had hoped for an immediate jail term, said she felt she could cry when she heard the sentence.
She said: “I’m very, very angry. She has basically been let off.
“It is saying that what’s happened to Kayley and I isn’t worth a prison sentence.
“I can’t go out anymore – I’m the prisoner, not her!”
The 51-year-old suffered two head wounds, a cracked rib and humerus and bruising to her back in the accident and had to undergo surgery to rebuild her shoulder with a metal plate which will stay in place for the rest of her life.
Both women’s confidence was badly damaged and Gillian is still battling depression and awaiting therapy to help her regain her independence.
She slammed the court ruling and questioned the message it sends out to other drink-drivers.
“The police are supposed to be clamping down on drink-drivers but she’s got away with it,” she added.
Miss Varley is still unable to go out on her own because she was so deeply affected by the accident, which happened four months ago.
She had been due to start a new job as a cleaner at The Marches School, Oswestry, at the time of the accident but had to turn it down because of her injuries.
Still scared to go to sleep and suffering nightmares and flashbacks, Miss Varley will never regain full movement in her arm, despite gruelling physiotherapy, and is still unable to work.
In a victim personal statement read out in court, she said: “The memories and scars will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
Thankfully, Kayley’s baby was born happy and healthy, the silver lining which helps brighten Miss Varley’s life.
“That’s what I’ve got to be thankful for,” she added.

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