A teenager famous for his free running, dare-devil stunts, was left with potentially permanent brain damage after a car crashed while his best friend was at the wheel.
Jack Bellis, 19, who had made a name for himself pulling off stunts including scaling Chester Cathedral since the age of 13, had to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act at one stage because his injuries had caused a personality disorder and he had refused to co-operate.
This week the youth driving the vehicle, Jonathan Jack Williams, also 19, was sentenced to 28 months youth detention at Mold Crown Court, and was banned from driving for two years, with an extended re-test before he drives again.
He had previously admitted causing serious injuries by driving his Ford Fiesta dangerously on November 26 last year, as well as driving above the legal cannabis limit, having no insurance, licence or MOT.
In a victim impact statement read to Mold Crown Court, Jack’s mother spoke of her anguish at seeing Jack go through his ordeal, and said it was 'heartbreaking' not knowing to what extent her son might improve.
In a statement, read by prosecutor David Mainstone, she said the crash had had a 'massive impact' on the family and she had to come to terms with the realisation that he might never get back to the way he was before the crash occurred.
This is the video the Chronicle published of Jack free running at Chester Cathedral in 2014:
The court heard that Gareth Morris was driving properly on the correct side of the road when he saw the on-coming headlights of a car weaving from side to side. The car then crashed head-on into him causing serious injuries to all three. Both vehicles suffered 'catastrophic' damage.
It turned out that Williams had been smoking cannabis and had a level of 5.7 microgrammes compared to the legal limit of two.
Jack, from Wrexham, had suffered severe injuries including an organic brain injury and spent time at the regional trauma unit at Stoke before being returned to Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
The court heard the two young men had grown up together, were firm friends and remained so, and the defendant continued to visit him.
Mr Morris has had difficulty sleeping, suffered flashbacks, and was left thousands of pounds out of pocket following the crash.
Judge Rhys Rowlands said that the case should serve as a lesson of the dangers of drug driving, which could have very serious consequences.
Related story: Almost 200 drug drivers removed from Cheshire roads
Williams would have to live with the fact that he caused such dreadful injuries to Jack Bellis that night as a result of his irresponsibility.
“You very nearly killed him,” he said. “He suffered life-changing injuries.”
Jack had made a name for himself as an avid follower of ‘Parkour’, a form of free-running, where one runs, climbs and jumps through urban environments at speed, and would regularly practices the sport in and around his home town of Wrexham.