A driver who was speeding at around 57mph in a 30mph bus lane when he hit and killed two young boys travelling by bike has been jailed for nine years and banned from driving for 13 years.
Yesterday we reported that Jack Hart had finally pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving a day before his trial was set to begin, causing the families of Steven Duffield, 10, and Mason Deakin, 11, more anguish and prompting judge John Thackray KC to accuse the 32-year-old of "playing the system".
Sentencing Hart to the "significant" prison sentence he promised at Monday's pre-trial hearing, the judge noted the "devastation" the driver had caused the families by using the bus lane as his "own personal racing track".
Hull Live reports Hull Crown Court also heard that Hart already had six penalty charges for using the bus lane in the previous year and that he removed and destroyed dashcam evidence following the fatal collision on Anlaby Road, near East Yorkshire bus garage, at around 6.10pm on 19 October 2020.
More than two years later, and seven months since a not guilty plea, Hart finally changed his pleas to guilty on Monday.
"It's clear you caused devastation to the families of those boys in addition to the loss of life of two young boys who had their whole life ahead of them," judge Thackray told him.
Hart was speeding at 57mph in a 30mph bus lane when he struck the pair of boys travelling by bicycle, with the 11-year-old Mason pedalling and his 10-year-old friend Duffield sat on the handlebars.
The court heard how the driver was undertaking other vehicles in the bus lane and hit the pair travelling against the flow of traffic, causing the death of Duffield that day and Deakin two weeks later at Leeds General Infirmary, where he had remained in a coma and on life support.
Hart was represented at the pre-trial hearing by Charlotte Baines and had previously insisted he was not responsible for the missing dashcam, resulting in the case being stood down while Hart provided further details.
However, Miss Baines later said that Hart now did not want to put in a basis of plea over his version of the dashcam's removal.
Judge Thackray also banned Hart from driving for 13 years and he will have to pass an extended retest before he can drive again.
The sentence will once again raise questions about the driving bans handed out to those convicted of causing death by dangerous driving.
In all our recent coverage of such cases we have shared a petition that has been launched calling for a lifetime driving ban for those convicted of causing death by dangerous driving.
The petition has now passed the 10,000-mark meaning the government will respond to it once it closes on 4 April.
It was created by Angela Burke, the mother of a child killed by a driver speeding between 73 and 93mph when they hit her on a 30mph road, who believes "driving is a luxury and it should be taken away if convicted of this crime. I've lost my child forever."
"He was sentenced to nine years, minus 25 per cent reduction for pleading guilty, and also given a seven-year driving ban to start immediately. When he's released he will have four years ban left," she wrote.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.