Gary Dawes, 44, was hit by a stolen Vauxhall Cavalier being driven by Craig Aldis, who was 19 at the time of the accident. Mr Aldis had been travelling up and down the road where Mr Dawes lived, which was a favourite with joyriders. He was repeatedly revving the car’s engine and executing handbrake turns.
Mr Aldis's path was blocked at one point by plain clothes police officers and so he mounted the pavement to avoid them. He sped away on the wrong side of the road and hit Mr Dawes, who was tossed over the car.
As a result of the accident Mr Dawes suffered many broken bones and was left with severe brain damage. He now requires 24-hour care.
The insurers of the Vauxhall, whilst admitting primary liability, argued that, in fact, Mr Dawes had been drinking on the night of the accident and had stepped into the street to confront the joyrider. The driver, Mr Aldis, also claimed that Mr Dawes had stepped out from behind a parked car, leaving him no time to react.
Mr Justice Eady decided that on the balance of probabilities Mr Dawes had not contributed to the accident. There was not enough evidence to show that the alternative scenarios put forward had occurred.
The level of the compensation award has yet to be decided but it is thought that Mr Dawes could receive several million pounds.
Mr Aldis later pleaded guilty to criminal offences related to the crash.