Two drivers whose road rage argument led to a crash in which a cyclist was killed have been handed hefty jail sentences at Teesside Crown Court today.
Paige Robinson, aged 24, and David Ferry, 47, had blamed each other for the crash in July 2020 in which cyclist Graham Pattison, 49 (pictured above), lost his life.
Both were convicted last month of causing the father-of-two’s death through dangerous driving, with a jury taking less than three hours to return its verdicts.
> Two feuding drivers convicted of causing cyclist’s death through dangerous driving
Judge Jonathan Carroll last month warned Robinson, a care assistant, and retired army officer Ferry that custodial sentences were “inevitable” and today he jailed them for seven years and nine months, and eight years, respectively, reports BBC News.
He said that Mr Pattison’s death had resulted from “this senseless, unnecessary and appalling dangerous driving.”
The judge added: “In Robinson’s case, egged on by her boyfriend who may not sit in the dock, but undoubtedly played a part. Ferry drove off but Robinson caught up with him.
“Both of you, oblivious to the ordinary rules of the road and to other road users, became caught up in dangerous driving.”
During their trial, the court heard that Mr Pattison was catapulted 40 metres when he was struck by Robinson in her Ford Fiesta at a speed of 70mph on the A689 between Wynyard and Sedgefield on 24 July 2020.
Before the crash, she had changed lanes in front of Ferry, who was driving an Audi TT. She claimed he had been gesticulating at her and had swerved towards her car, causing her to hit Mr Pattison, whom she claimed she had not seen.
Ferry, in his defence, claimed that that Robinson and her boyfriend, who was a passenger in her car, had been making gestures at him and that she was tailgating before the fatal crash.
Witness Trevor Smith, who gave evidence at their trial, said: “The white car [Robinson’s] was quite close to the black car – they were side by side. They seemed to be matching each other.
“The white car swerved to the left and it was a ‘speed wobble’ as if she was trying to get the car under control. The brake lights went on at that point.
“There was a cyclist in front of the white car. I can remember saying to my wife – ‘he’s going to get hit’. I was referring to the cyclist.
“I was braking very hard; I was worried the cyclist might land in front of my car.
“At first I thought the cyclist was going to go under the vehicle, but instead he bounced up onto the bonnet, onto the windscreen then quite high into the air and into the verge,” he added.
Speaking after the jury returned the guilty verdicts last month, Sergeant Catherine Iley of Cleveland Police commented: “The offenders blamed each other for the collision which took Mr Pattison’s life but, as the court heard, their actions had catastrophic consequences.
“Myself and my team would like to thank all those involved in assisting at the scene, in what were extremely harrowing circumstances.”
She added: “Mr Pattison was a beloved husband, father and son and our thoughts are with his family and friends today.”
Following his death, Mr Pattison’s family said in a statement released via the force: “Graham was a dearly loved husband, father and son.
“We are in shock at his loss and our lives will never be the same without him.”
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