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Jail for Tregynon man after colleague died in road race

 
Created on 04/11/2018 @ 13:36
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A 28-year-old Tregynon man has been jailed for three and a half years at Mold Crown Court after he was convicted of causing the death of a work colleague by dangerous driving.

Matthew Bennett of Llanidloes was aged 19 when he died in October 2016 and the prosecution claimed that Rhys Davies of Parc Hafod, Tregynon, near Newtown and the deceased, were racing, a claim which the defendant had denied.

But after three hours and 40 minutes of deliberations the jury found Davies guilty by an 11 to one majority and Judge Niclas Parry added a 44-month driving ban to the sentence.

Both men finished their shifts at the Colomer Munmany Europe Ltd factory in Carno, where Davies wasdepot manager, and were making their way back home along the A470.

Prosecutor Sion ap Mihangel alleged that the two men were side by side as they went over the brow of a hill and were racing when Mr Bennett lost control. He hit two on-coming vehicles and crashed into a field. He was airlifted to hospital but died of his injuries.

The Shropshire Star reports that when sentencing Judge Parry said that day “the red mist fell” and the defendant lost control of his normal good sense.

“You became involved in a serious case of dangerous driving which resulted in tragic, fatal consequences,” he said.

 “You challenged a man who you knew would not give up. He was attempting to overtake you and you put your foot down and refused to allow him to complete the overtaking manoeuvre. You were determined that you were not going to be overtaken,” said Judge Parry.

“When the deceased had no alternative but to try and find his back to the correct side of the road “your actions meant it was too late,” the judge told Davies.

Mr Bennett became involved in a catastrophic collision with two other vehicles.

“The reality is that no sentence can, and it is never intended to, reflect the tragic loss of a young life,” the judge said.

Judge Parry said that he had heard cogent and persuasive evidence that he was a hard-working, trusted and highly respected man. He was highly regarded by the workforce as well as by his employers.

Davies, the judge said, had acted “entirely out of character” and the conviction was a personal tragedy for him as well.

A previous jury failed to reach a verdict.

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