A tragic Halifax man was plunged into a cycle of crime, drug and alcohol abuse by catastrophic head injuries suffered when he was knocked down by a bus.
But now the man, who was aged just 11 when the bus hit him in 2001, looks like having a brighter future after a top judge awarded him millions in compensation.
Mr Justice Kenneth Parker said the man, now in his early 20s, was incapable of independent living and would need 24-hour care for the rest of his life.
Over the years since the accident, attempts to look after him in various institutions had run into serious trouble, the High Court heard.
Prone to homesickness, he had absconded again and again - often falling into a life of crime and under the influence of unscrupulous drug dealers.
Professionals tried to deal with his disruptive behaviour, but the judge said he was ‘regularly involved in disturbances with the police’.
‘He was often drunk and spent all his money on alcohol and drugs,’ the judge added.
In 2014 alone, he had been arrested for drunkneness and for possession of an imitation firearm.
The judge told the court: “He said that he believed the firearm to be real and was unable to see any problem with regard to waving a gun around in a public place’.
He had been compulsorily detained in a mental hospital for a time and there was no dispute that he suffered from ‘a severe personality disorder’.
Insurers for the bus company accepted 70% liability for the accident - but hotly disputed the amount of damages due to the man.
However, Mr Justice Parker ruled that his need for 24-hour personalised care arose directly from the brain damage he suffered in the collision.
The judge also ruled that, with appropriate support, he would be able to live for at least part of the time in his own home, close to his family in Halifax.
The man’s compensation- which is bound to run into several million pounds over his lifetime - included £140,000 for his pain and suffering.
He was awarded further substantial sums for his lost earnings and to cover the enormous costs of his accommodation and future care.
Lawyers were left to calculate the final amount of the award.