Police tape across an open door

A volunteer policeman hit a teenager with his car and did not report the collision for three days, Exeter Magistrates' Court has heard.

Plymouth resident Neil Smith was driving his BMW in traffic at around 20mph when the boy stepped out into the road in front of him.

Sean Tipton, prosecuting, said: "A 13-year-old boy who was with three friends ran into the road between stationary vehicles without looking. The defendant's vehicle struck him towards the front centre of the bonnet. The boy was knocked to the ground but got up quickly and walked away, followed by his friends," reported the Plymouth Herald.

While the boy at the time only seemed to have suffered cuts and grazes, he was later taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a fractured collarbone.

Smith, a 41-year-old former Naval engineer, is accused of leaving the scene and failing to inform police of the incident until he spotted a press release appealing for witnesses.

He handed himself into police three days later.

In mitigation, Smith's representative Susan Snow, said: "All of a sudden he just saw this boy in front of his vehicle.

"He immediately stopped, spoke to the young boy who then ran off about 50 yards up the road. Mr Smith followed the boy, asked him if he needed any medical assistance and the boy replied 'no'. He made detailed enquiries as to this young boy's welfare – did he have any trouble with his vision or his neck. He asked him what injuries he had and he indicated that he had a graze."

The court heard that Smith was unaware that he had a legal obligation to report such an incident.

Smith admitted failing to report a traffic collision was handed a fine of £415 and five penalty points on his licence.