Alex Neil on the difficulties of meeting Premier League expectations on a budget at Sunderland
Sunderland boss Alex Neil says the Black Cats must build gradually in the ChampionshipWith gates of 40,000-plus making Sunderland by far the best-supported team outside the top flight, there will inevitably be expectation in some quarters that Sunderland should be pushing for promotion this term. But, having worked at this level before, Neil knows that that is highly unlikely given that Sunderland's ownership is keen to run the club in a sustainable way rather than pour in vast sums of cash.
A danger driver who left a pensioner seriously injured by ploughing into him as he crossed the road has been jailed. © Newcastle Chronicle Bradley Bute, jailed for causing serious injury by dangerous driving
Bradley Bute was driving in excess of the speed limit when he smashed into the 67-year-old, who was heading into Sunderland city centre after getting his Covid booster around 3.25pm on December 1 last year. CCTV captures the horrifying moment speeding Bute drove into him as he crossed the road, sending him flying and leaving him lying motionless on the ground before returning to the scene two minutes later.
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A witness said he saw Bute's car travelling in excess of the 30mph limit. Shada Mellor, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court: "The witness said he didn't hear the defendant's vehicle break or any noise from the vehicle.
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"He said the sound of the impact was horrific and something that will stay with him forever. He said the complainant had blood gushing from his head."
The pensioner was taken to hospital and was in there for nine days, during which time he was in and out of consciousness. He suffered eight lacerations to his scalp, including to a muscle. He also had lacerations to his forehead and cheek, a wound to his elbow, a collapsed lung, scrapes and bruises and he needed a blood transfusion.
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In a victim impact statement, he said he had previously lived an independent life before being injured but was left having to rely on others to help him.
Bute, 24, of Tudor Grove, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was jailed for ten months and banned from driving for three years. The court heard he has previous convictions for driving without due care and attention and failing to stop after an accident. In that offence, in 2019, he drove into the rear of a mum's car as she drove with her 13-year-old daughter then opened the car door and shouted at them.
Judge Edward Bindloss told him: "The first incident of bad driving doesn't seem to have given you the shock you needed."
The court heard Bute handed in references to the court which describing him as an "upright, caring person with good moral character" who is willing to help others. Jamie Adams, defending, said Bute, who has a good work record, was "shocked, horrified" after he hit the pedestrian and is a young man who is "highly thought of". Mr Adams said the pedestrian was hit after a "momentary" swerve and it was not a prolonged piece of bad driving.
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