A 26-year-old mother had to fight back the tears as she told the court about the life-changing impact a hit-and-run has had on her.

On December 23, Danielle Wood, 26, from Rickmansworth, was struck by a blue Citroen after she tried to help a colleague stop a car getting out of a Tesco car park after an attempted theft.

Ms Wood, who has a five-year-old son, was hit by the wing mirror of the Citroen toppling her over the side of the car before falling heavily, eventually landing on her back.

She was rushed to Watford General Hospital where she was diagnosed with a fractured vertebrae. To this day, she remains in a support brace and does not know if she’ll make a full recovery.

She also said she was “petrified” as the car sped towards her at around 35-40mph and said she was in “agony” and thought she had broken her back.

In her victim statement to the court, Ms Wood said: “This completely ruined Christmas for me and my family. Christmas is the biggest time of the year for us. I have a five-year-old and this has put a huge strain on our life. My partner has had to do everything for me.

“This is an injury that will affect me for the rest of my life. I have lost the ability to move freely. I fear I will always have problems with my back. I can’t sleep without having nightmares of the car speeding towards me. Me and my family have struggled every day.

“This has almost torn my family apart. I am no longer the confident person I was. I feel like I’m no longer needed and can’t help my son grow into a strong independent person.

“Since this has happened, it has put a huge strain on my relationship with my partner and we have had to stop planning our wedding as we don’t know how long recovery will take. It has impacted us financially too. I had just begun managerial training and started an apprenticeship at work (Tesco) but this has all come to a complete stop.

“This has changed me and my family’s life forever. This could have been fatal if it was a child or an elderly person. I call for Lucy to be sentenced to the maximum by law. Despite media attention, she never handed herself in.”

Read more: Revealed - how the Tesco car park violence unfolded

Ms Wood told the court how her brace was uncomfortable to wear and she tries to cover it up and always gets asked questions about it. She has upcoming appointments but doctors are waiting to see if her break will heal naturally.

Lucy Turner, 32, of Haggerston Road, Borehamwood, who appeared moved by Ms Wood’s statement after the mother of two began crying herself, was sentenced by Judge Caroline Wigin to 38 months in prison for causing serious injury by dangerous driving.