The family of a teenage girl who was left with catastrophic brain injuries when she fell from a moving van after being kidnapped by her boyfriend have said ‘she is alive but will never live a life’, adding that she ‘picked the wrong boy – like so many girls do – and paid for it.’
Angel Lynn, 19, is unlikely to ever fully recover after she was bundled into the van by her partner at the time Chay Bowskill, 20, before falling from the vehicle as it travelled along the A6 near Loughborough at 60mph on September 17, 2020.
Angel is still unable to communicate and requires round-the-clock care after suffering a fractured skull, Leicester Crown Court heard, with her family describing her current state as ‘catatonic’.
‘She was the most beautiful girl and now she’s completely disabled,’ her aunt Jackie Chamberlain told Leicestershire Live, ‘She will never get better.’
Ms Chamberlain said she was ‘disappointed’ at the sentences handed out to Bowskill and his friend Rocco Sansome, 20, who was driving the van, after they received jail terms of seven-and-a-half years and 21 months respectively on Wednesday.
The pair had been found guilty of kidnapping following a trial at Leicester Crown Court – a crime which carries a maximum potential sentence of life imprisonment, according to solicitors JD Spicer Zeb. Bowskill was also convicted of coercive and controlling behaviour.
Ms Chamberlain said: ‘We have been given a life sentence because Angel’s injuries are so horrific.
Angel Lynn (pictured), 19, suffered life-changing injuries after she fell from a van. She was found injured in the carriageway of the A6 near Loughborough on September 17, 2020
Bowskill (pictured) and Sansome both denied kidnap but were found guilty after trial. Bowskill was jailed for seven-and-a-half years while Sansome was sentenced to 21 months in prison
Angel’s aunt said the teen’s family have had to become doctors and nurses to provide round-the-clock care, adding that her mother is ‘the strongest person I know’ (Pictured: Angel with her mother Nikki)
Shocking CCTV footage (left and right) shows Angel Lynn, 19, being forced into a van by 20-year-old Chay Bowskill, her boyfriend at the time
‘They will walk out after half their sentences are finished and get on with their lives.
‘She’s never going to get married, have children and have a normal life.
‘She’s in hospital and won’t be able to come home without a lot of changes being made to the family’s home.’
She added: ‘Angel picked the wrong boy – like so many girls do – and she paid for it. She will never be the same.’
Ms Chamberlain revealed Angel has had her last rites read to her three times and that she nearly died in hospital after catching Covid.
She added that the teen’s two younger sisters have been left traumatised by the ordeal.
She said: ‘Our family has had to become doctors and nurses.
‘Her 10-year-old sister sits panicking, watching her oxygen levels go up and down when she should be enjoying her childhood. Her mum, Nikki, is the strongest person I know.’
Angel’s other aunt, Julie Hutchinson, said the fact she is still alive is a ‘technicality.’
She said: ‘She’s alive but she’ll never live a life and she’ll be in constant pain.
‘She was a very lovely person and so kind. When she entered a room you’d think the sunshine had walked in. I feel the fact she is alive is a technicality.’
It comes after her grief-stricken father Paddy Lynn said in a statement yesterday that his family’s lives had been ‘changed beyond recognition forever.’
He said: ‘Angel was so full of life and had such a great future ahead of her. That future has sadly been taken away from her.
‘The catastrophic injuries Angel suffered will mean life will never be the same for her or our family. Every day is not only a huge struggle for Angel but also a huge struggle for our family and friends.
‘We are lucky in some ways as we are a close family, we have lots of lovely friends who help us and people that care in other ways.
‘We try to remain strong but we know that every day will be difficult and a struggle for us all especially for Angel.
Bowskill (pictured) was cleared of causing grievous bodily harm after it became unclear how Angel had left the van
‘I know that Angel will never get married now and I will never get to walk my daughter down the aisle.
‘Nikki and I will never be grandparents to Angel’s children. We don’t know what the future holds for our daughter but we try to put smiles on our faces each day but inside our hearts are bleeding out.
‘We’d like to thank all the officers involved in the investigation, our family liaison officers and our barrister, Mr Janes for their support throughout the last 16 months.
‘They have all worked so hard and their dedication to Angel’s case has been remarkable.’
At trial, jurors were shown shocking CCTV footage of Bowskill chasing Angel across a road after she walked off during an argument.
The harrowing video, taken in Mountsorrel, shows Bowskill grabbing Angel from behind and carrying her back across the road before bundling her into a van.
Angel then fell out of the vehicle, which was driven by Sansome, at around 10.45am as it travelled at 60mph, before she was found by horrified members of the public.
Paramedics attended the scene and Angel was taken to hospital but despite intensive medical intervention, she remains in hospital with life-changing injuries.
At trial, jurors were shown shocking CCTV footage of Bowskill (pictured) chasing Angel across a road after she walked off during an argument
The kidnap happened after Angel, who was originally lawfully driving the van, picked up Bowskill and Sansome, before getting into an argument with Bowskill and walking off.
The court heard that moments before she walked off, Bowskill admitted telling Angel he ‘hated’ her and never wanted to see her again, Leicestershire Live reported.
Detectives uncovered the footage of Angel being forced into the van, before it was driven away at speed by 20-year-old Sansome. Both men were later arrested.
Bowskill, of Syston, Leicestershire, was also convicted of coercive and controlling behaviour and perverting the course of justice.
He was cleared of causing grievous bodily harm after it became unclear how Angel had left the van.
The defence claimed that Angel jumped or accidentally fell on to the road, while the prosecution failed to prove that she was pushed or thrown.
Sansome, of Birstall, Leicestershire, admitted possession of cannabis and driving the van while unfit through cannabis use, according to Leicestershire Live.
On Wednesday, Bowskill was jailed for seven-and-a-half years while Sansome was sentenced to 21 months in prison.
Sentencing, Judge Timothy Spencer QC told Bowskill: ‘She [Angel] was a beautiful young woman who should have been enjoying the carefree years of her late-teens into early adulthood.
‘You treated her in a vile way. She was belittled by you to a point where she must have felt worthless on a regular basis.
‘You bombarded her with repulsive and degrading messages. You controlled her freedom of movement by a variety of means.
‘She wasn’t allowed any sort of life apart from you. I’m satisfied you meted out violence to her, causing bruising, on at least two occasions.’
Regarding perverting the court of justice, the judge told Bowskill that he was ‘selfishly obsessed with your own predicament’ and ‘made desperate efforts’ to get his mother to retract her police statement.
CCTV footage shows Bowskill grabbing Angel (both left) from behind and carrying her across the road before bundling her into a van, which was driven his friend Rocco Sansome (right)
He told Bowskill: ‘Your mother comes out of this with no credit – it was disgraceful conduct with her giving lying evidence in court about Angel and the police.
‘You should be ashamed of your vile and demeaning conduct towards your mother, seeking to get her to perjure herself – because it was you who brought her to this very low ebb.’
Detective Chief Inspector Tony Yarwood, from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit Major Crime team, said: ‘Angel is a young woman who had plans and aspirations in place and the rest of her life to look forward to.
‘Because of the extent of her injuries she now faces constant medical treatment and round the clock care.
‘Her family remain devastated by what has happened and I praise the strength and bravery they have shown and continue to demonstrate to this day.
‘No verdict or subsequent sentence can make up for the quality of life this young woman has lost.
‘I can only hope that in time her family can find some comfort knowing justice has been done.’