A hit-and-run driver who killed a teenage cyclist then took a cab home where he went to bed has been jailed for 40 months.
Leo Meek, aged 22 and from Moreton, Wirral, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday, reports The Mirror.
He had pleaded guilty to causing the death by dangerous driving of 15-year-old Jack Jones, as well as failing to stop after the crash which happened at around 9.40pm on Monday 26 April.
The teenager died in hospital and Meek was subsequently identified by police, who also arrested a 48-year-old man from Birkenhead on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, and who was later released under investigation.
The court heard that Meek had been driving a Volkswagen Tiguan, which belongs to a friend’s father at between 52 and 55mph on the 30mph speed limit road and hitting the victim, who was cycling to his aunt’s house.
Meek fled the scene and after abandoning the vehicle two miles away got a taxi home, arriving there at around 12.40am, and went to bed.
Peter Hussey, prosecuting, told the court: “It is unlikely Jack knew what happened,” that he had been given “little if any room” and that there was an “inevitable danger of collision.”
He said that at “no stage did he [Meek] report the collision to the police or even the ambulance service.”
Meek said in a letter to the judge ahead of sentencing that he took “full responsibility” for what had happened and that he “found it hard to come to terms with the harsh reality that Jack lost his life solely through my actions.”
Sentencing Meek, who has also been banned from driving for three years once he is released from jail, Judge Andrew Menary QC said: “It is not altogether clear why this collision occurred.
“The most likely explanation is you simply gave him little or no room as you were overtaking him.
“A private hire vehicle just passed Jack, rather than pause to allow it to pass you attempted to squeeze through the gap.
“This was very bad driving in any view and Jack and his family have paid a terrible price.
“Without intending to be overdramatic your car effectively took out that young cyclist."
The judge told Meek that driving away from the scene was “cowardly and callous” and that he was “only concerned about yourself.”
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Drew said: “No sentence can repair the devastation of what happened but we hope that today's sentencing can at least provide some comfort to Jack’s family and friends.
“I hope Meek’s sentence gives him time to reflect on the consequences of his actions.
"I would also like to pay tribute to Jack’s family for the courage and dignity they have shown throughout this process, and also to the team of officers who brought Meek to justice so swiftly.
“At Merseyside Police our priority is to keep our communities safe and to prosecute any driver who puts the lives of others at risk. Every fatal collision impacts upon the lives of so many people, and we’re committed to reducing such incidents and putting those who drive dangerously before the courts.”
Following her son’s death Jack’s mother, Marjorie said he “had his whole life ahead of him” but “all our hopes and aspirations for Jack have just gone. His life was gone in a single moment for reasons we don’t understand.
She said his death was “a nightmare you cannot wake up from and know you will have for a lifetime … no words will ever be enough to express how much this hurts and what a huge loss we all have to come to terms with.
“The small comfort we have from that night is knowing he was not alone, that residents on Manor Drive heard the impact and came to help and offer comfort to Jack whilst waiting for the ambulance and people in their cars stopped traffic,” she added.
“We would also like to thank the paramedics who got Jack to the hospital so quickly, the staff at Arrowe Park Hospital who made him as comfortable as he could be and did all they could to save his life, and to Merseyside Police for all their support.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.