THE mother of a boy knocked down and killed as he played on his scooter told last night how his death had left her “a broken woman” – and said: “The sadness inside me is overwhelming.”

Tanja Maggs revealed her anguish in a statement after pizza delivery driver James Burns was locked up for three years for hitting nine-year-old Brandon as he sped through an estate while working.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Burns would have been able to stop 30ft short of Brandon had he been within the 30mph limit instead of at least 51mph when he braked and skidded.

Brandon was thrown nearly 90ft and suffered multiple injuries, including head injuries.

He died hours later in hospital after being flown there by air ambulance.

The accident, on July 15, last year, prompted calls from angry residents of Ingleby Barwick, near Stockton, for safety measures such as speed bumps and a 20mph zone to be introduced.

Brandon’s mother said she hoped the tragedy would stop others who “think it is ‘cool’ to treat roads in built-up area as a racetrack, with no thought for children playing”.

Judge Peter Armstrong told Burns, a 19-year-old college student of Ashton Road, Norton, near Stockton, yesterday: “This accident was caused solely by your excessive speed.”

The court heard how Burns was driving in Roundhill Avenue, Ingleby Barwick, at 4.40pm when he negotiated a right-hand bend as Brandon was crossing the road ahead of him.

Rupert Doswell, prosecuting, said the driver – who had passed his test 16 months earlier – braked heavily, but his black Renault Clio skidded and he was unable to avoid the collision.

John Gillette, mitigating, said Burns, who admitted causing death by dangerous driving, was deeply remorseful and would be haunted by what had happened for the rest of his life.

He provided Judge Armstrong with 21 references, as well as a letter from the student and one from his mother, which he said had parallels to an impact statement from Brandon’s family.

He said: “While, of course, the effect on them can be nothing like it has been on the family of Brandon, there are echoes... in terms of people having to receive counselling for flashbacks and the like.

“In his letter, he expresses his deep remorse for what has happened. This will live with him for the rest of his life.

“He can’t explain why it was on that day he went so fast...

from the moment of this accident he has never got behind the wheel of a car again, and he does not feel he ever will.”

Judge Armstrong, who also imposed a four-year driving ban, told Burns: “The speed at which you were travelling was greatly excessive... you were driving deliberately at that speed.”

Sergeant Dave Allen, of Cleveland Police, said that while the conclusion may bring a small degree of closure to Brandon’s family, life things would never be the same again for them.

He added: “This case should act as a timely reminder to all motorists on our roads to adhere to the speed limits wherever they are.”