A West Huntspill driver has been jailed for six years after he caused the death of a family man in a hit-and-run incident.

Jakedene Loveridge of Swell Close in West Huntspill appeared at Mold Crown Court in North Wales last week for sentencing.

The 23-year-old had previously admitted causing the death of Richard Ieuan Williams by driving dangerously on November 20 last year at Marine Road in Abergele.

Brian Treadwell, prosecuting, told the court that on the night of the offence the defendant – who normally lives in the Somerset area with his parents – had been staying with his girlfriend in Abergele.

He had agreed to collect two friends from Rhyl and went with his girlfriend to collect them.

On the way back, with his three passengers, he proceeded to show off in a sustained display of bad driving.

His journey saw him going through red lights, speeding and going the wrong way around a keep-left bollard in order to overtake another vehicle and going over solid white lines as well as ignoring illuminated warning signs.

One of the drivers he overtook said it appeared he had a “death wish” and described his conduct on the road as “scary”.

As Loveridge approached the scene of the collision, the victim stepped out into the road from between two parked cars, crossing from left to right from Loveridge’s point of view.

He was struck to the side of the road and onto the pavement, following which he was attended to immediately by passers by.

Police also commenced CPR before paramedics arrived just after 10pm.

But following the collision, the defendant didn’t stop – he drove on another 150 metres, then pulled into a layby near a Co-op shop to allow his passengers to “flee”.

He then drove onto an industrial estate and examined his vehicle by torchlight – removing his number plate and speaking to his girlfriend on the phone.

By this point, neither he nor his passengers had called 999. The other three informed the emergency services when they got home.

The court heard Loveridge did identify himself as the driver to the police afterwards and in interview, he claimed the victim had “come out of nowhere” and that despite trying to “swerve” away from him, he had “clipped” him.

He claimed he was doing “a few miles an hour over the 30 [limit], but that was it.”

However police determined that in the moments leading up to the collision, he was travelling in excess of 70 miles per hour.

When he would have seen the victim, the car would have been doing 72mph. He was travelling at between 53mph and 55mph at the point of impact.

The court heard that had he been observing the speed limit, he could have stopped comfortably.

Mr Williams’ cause of death was severe neck and chest injuries.

Loveridge claimed he’d been goaded by his passengers into driving at the speeds he did, which at points reached 74mph in a 30mph zone while passing a pedestrian crossing, 91mph in a 40mph zone and 62mph in a 20mph zone.

When police interviewed the passengers though, they told officers they were in fact frightened, with one stating: “It was as though he thought he was driving in a computer game like Grand Theft Auto.”

In a statement read to the court, the victim’s daughter, Elisa Williams, said the events of November 20, 2021 were “a nightmare”.

“The punishment for this driver will never be enough in my eyes,” she said.

“He should have stopped and faced his actions instead of running away like a coward.”

Simon Parry, defending an audibly emotional Loveridge, said: “If ever a young person needed to see the dangers of speed, this is the case to highlight. Mr Loveridge accepts the speeds he was travelling were unacceptable and he accepts elements of showing off in the driving.”

He said his client was not impaired by drugs or alcohol on the night, but that his diagnoses of autism and ADHD “inevitably will have played a part in influencing the behaviour we saw behind the wheel that night.”

He added: “The need to show off and seek acceptance, approval or recognition are all features common with those conditions.”

Mr Parry read a letter to the family of Mr Williams, from the defendant. “I am incredibly sorry for the loss of such an important person in all of your lives,” he read. “It was a horrible accident and I wish I could turn back the clock. If I could take it all back, I would do so in a heartbeat.”

Judge Niclas Parry told the defendant: “What an utterly appalling and unnecessary loss of a valuable and loved life, all caused by your selfish and self-indulgent disgraceful behaviour.”

“This was nothing short of thrill-seeking and showing off to your passengers, whom you also placed in grave danger.”

Giving him credit for his guilty plea, Judge Parry Jailed Loveridge for six years and banned him from driving for seven.

Pictured: Police image of Jakedene Loveridge who appeared at Mold Crown Court on December 20th where he was sentenced to six years (Photo: North Wales Police)

 
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