Two Nottinghamshire drivers have been jailed for nearly ten years after causing the death of a man by dangerous driving.
Scott Stokes, 39, of Portland Road, Hucknall, was locked up for four years after being convicted of causing death by dangerous driving and eighteen months for perverting the course of justice.
Stokes was found guilty of the offences by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court on 16 January 2018.
Co-defendant Hannah Langton, 22, of Dale Road, Warsop, was the girlfriend of victim James Horton who was travelling in the front passenger seat of her vehicle when two cars crashed. Langton pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. She was jailed for 32 months.
Both were sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court today (Monday 26 February 2018).
Speaking after their sentencing Detective Sergeant Adam Cooper, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Stokes’ and Langtons’ actions caused the needless death of an entirely innocent man. The collision was borne out of the ridiculous stubbornness from both drivers who were determined not to let the other get in front.
“Stokes left the scene before the emergency services arrived and set about changing the driver’s side wheel, wing, the front bumper of his car and got rid of the parts. He then lied to the police about making those changes and refused to accept he had got himself in a race with Langton.”
DS Cooper added: “We hope their custodial sentences serve as a deterrent to those who choose to drive dangerously in this manner.
“But we’d remind people it’s not just of the risk of being sent to prison, there are wider consequences.
The court heard that James Horton, 21, from Warsop, died in a crash between two cars on the A6002 Low Wood Road at around 7.30pm on 17 June 2016 on the outskirts of Nottingham.
Stokes was driving a Vauxhall Zafira and Langton was driving a Peugeot. It was heard that Langton’s Peugeot had been travelling on the same side as Stokes’ Zafira as the vehicles entered the Nuthall Island. The Peugeot lost control and skidded across the road into the path of a Subaru Impreza.
The court was told that, prior to the crash, the Peugeot and Zafira were racing each other as they left the Nuthall Island onto Low Wood Road.
Stokes denied being involved in the crash and also denied that he changed parts of his damaged Zafira following the crash.
Langton accepted her actions were dangerous and contributed to the collision which killed her boyfriend.
As well as their prison sentences Stokes and Langton were both given four-year driving bans and must take extended driving tests upon their release.
DS Cooper said: “Langton is responsible for the death of her boyfriend, someone she undoubtedly wouldn’t have wished harm on, and she will have to live with that for the rest of her life.
“The family of Mr Horton still struggle to deal with his death and now more families have felt the consequences as they watched their loved ones being sent to prison.
“I would urge drivers to consider their driving and ask themselves – is getting one place further along in the line of traffic, answering that text message or call, or that glass of wine or beer really worth the risk of being involved in a serious collision and having to live with the wide-reaching consequences?”