Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Drug driver who mowed down academic while on run from police gets 10 years in jail

Driver was trying to escape police when he hit rider

A drug driver who killed an academic cyclist as he attempted to escape a police chase has been jailed for 10 years.

Dr Andrew Platten, 55, was cycling in Bingley, when he was hit by Akash Rashid.

The driver, 22, from Heaton, pleaded guilty to causing the death of a cyclist, one of four charges relating to the offence.

Sentencing, Judge David Hatton QC described the 22-year-old's driving as “grotesque”, according to the BBC.

"You drove in such a manner that you lost control of your vehicle and took away a life when you struck a cyclist causing him devastating injuries and instantaneous death," he said.

Rashid admitted causing death by dangerous driving, driving without a full licence and without insurance and driving while under the influence of drugs.

He also admitted supplying cannabis and possessing cannabis with intent to supply and an unrelated assault offence.

As we reported last month, Rashid was driving his Vauxhall Vectra without a licence, without insurance and while unfit through drugs. He was attempting to escape from a police chase when he mowed down Dr Platten.

West Yorkshire Police said officers had tried to stop the car after seeing the driver "acting suspiciously”.

They had spotted him dealing drugs to students, but he attempted to escape when they approached him.

Rashid was told the usual sentence would have been 12 years but it was reduced to nine due to his guilty plea.

He was given an additional six months for the drug offences and a further six months for the assault case and banned from driving for eight years.

Dr Platten worked at Leeds Beckett University, where he worked in the Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology.

In a statement, his family said: "Andrew excelled as a respected and dedicated academic, with a love for art, poetry and music. For anyone that knew him, cycling was his true passion as he became a recognised competitive rider on the roads.

"Most importantly he was a loved friend, loyal brother and uncle, loving partner and a truly inspirational father. He will be deeply missed, but he has left his stamp on all who met him.

"He will always be cherished and never forgotten, living on in all our hearts."


Latest Comments