A boy racer who killed a pensioner while speeding through a village in his souped-up car has been jailed.
Former Royal Horse Guardsman Frank Fielding died of multiple injuries after being mowed down by mechanic Michael Yeates on High Street, Rishton.
Witnesses said the ‘sprightly’ pensioner was carried several yards after Yeates ‘slammed on’ his brakes during the ‘horrible’ incident last Autumn.
Yeates, 20, was jailed for three years at Preston Crown Court this week.
The court heard how Yeates had only held a licence for three months before the smash but had previously been involved in late night racing in his modified Vauxhall Nova.
Prosecutor Neil Fryman said witnesses saw Yeates looking down at his gear stick and not at the road during the horror smash at 5pm on October 18. They said Yeates had no time to react and hit the 80-year-old and the brakes at the same time.
CCTV and a speed camera revealed the defendant had been driving at 47mph in a 30mph zone.
Mr Fryman said Yeates told paramedics that Mr Fielding had hesitated and run out in front of him, but later accepted responsibility for the crash.
He said Yeates had badly damaged his first car after crashing into a hedge three days after passing his driving test. Just three weeks later the defendant was involved in a late-night race and had ripped the gear box and engine from his previous Nova to add power to his latest vehicle.
Mr Fryman said a representative from Yeates’ insurance company said the policy would have been refused had they known about the modifications to the car. Yeates, of Trent Street, Longridge, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and fraud.
Sharon Watson, defending, said Yeates was a hard working young man of otherwise good character who is ‘loved and cared for by his family’.
She said the defendant accepted full blame and had pleaded guilty with ‘genuine heartfelt remorse’.
She said: “This was clearly a momentary lapse of concentration. The terrible and tragic consequences were entirely unforeseen and entirely unintentional. He is terribly sorry for the suffering he has caused.”
Judge Jonathan Gibson sentenced Yeates to three years in prison and disqualified him from driving for five years.
He said: “No sentence that I can pass can compensate Mr Fielding’s family for their very great loss.
“What you did highlights the very great dangers of driving at excessive speeds and the catastrophic consequences that can lead from that.
“Your driving was highly irresponsible and the consequences beyond description.”
After the hearing, Mr Fielding’s family said in a statement: “After a difficult 11 months we as a family can now have some closure.
“This doesn’t take away the fact that we feel robbed of a much loved father, grandad and friend to many. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in putting this case together, the witnesses and family and friends for all their support.”