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Drug driver who killed Essex cyclist jailed for 28 months

David Hanson pleased guilty to causing Ben Greenslade’s death by dangerous driving

A drug driver who killed a cyclist in Essex has been jailed for 28 months after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

Van driver David Hanson, aged 44 and from Sevenoaks, struck cyclist Ben Greenslade, 30, from behind on the A127 in Wickford on Sunday 2 September 2018, reports Time 107.5 FM.

A roadside drug test following the fatal crash revealed that Hanson had taken cocaine and cannabis and a subsequent blood test discovered that he had twice the legal limit for cocaine in his bloodstream.

Basildon Crown Court also heard that a forensic pharmacologist said that the motorist would have been significantly intoxicated with an opiate painkiller, dihydrocodeine, and that he may also have been intoxicated by cocaine, cannabis and morphine.

Hanson was disqualified from driving for three years and will have to take an extended retest to get his driving licence back.

The case was investigated by Sergeant Sam Nason of Essex Police, who said: “This is another tragic case of how someone has sadly died following a collision that involved a drug driver.

“Hanson’s actions have left a family devastated with a family losing a son and a brother on one of the county’s roads.

“While Hanson may have admitted the offences, he can’t repair the damage he has caused and he has been sent to prison.

“I hope today’s outcome offers some form of justice to Ben’s family.”

Mr Greenslade’s family said at the time of his death: “Words can't describe how much Ben was loved by everyone who knew him.

“He was thoughtful, sensitive and kind, putting everyone before himself.

“Ben was extremely athletic, loved to cycle and was at his happiest being outdoors. The whole family is heartbroken by what has happened.”

They added: “Ben was a wonderful son, a wonderful brother, a wonderful man.”

Simon joined 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.

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wtjs | 3 years ago

The problem is that it's only 14 months really, and he and other like minded drivers know that close passing has been converted to a non-offence by police forces like the one here. Therefore, they're used to demonstrating their ace driving skills all day every day with no fear of prosecution- sometimes something goes wrong.

essexian replied to wtjs | 3 years ago

Completely agree. 

One "postitive" thing however is that this scumbag pleaded guilty (and thus, got time off of his time inside....) as if it had gone to a jury trial, what is the betting some of the jury would have asked what the cyclists was doing on the A127, given for most of its lenght it is treated as a motorway in all but name. They would be wrong of course but that wouldn't stop them thinking that way. Indeed, I do doubt they would have found guilty as: "the cyclist was asking for it....."

Even with a guilty plea, the time he got inside is not enough. 


Robert Hardy replied to wtjs | 3 years ago
1 like

It's not so much the prison sentence, but the driving ban that is lame. Full fault killer drivers should be taken off the roads permenantly with a parallel suspended prison sentence as reinforcement for their driving ban, caught behind the wheel, it should be straight to gaol with no pissing about inbetween.

EK Spinner replied to Robert Hardy | 3 years ago

Now this one (no cyclist involved !) is a proper driving ban, if only I had confidence it won't be reduced by some appeal process later


wtjs replied to EK Spinner | 3 years ago

Maybe Scottish courts are better for cyclists than the English? Anyone with experience of them?

ktache replied to EK Spinner | 3 years ago

23 years 7 month driving ban!

Now that is a serious ban.


wtjs replied to Robert Hardy | 3 years ago
Robert Hardy wrote:

It's not so much the prison sentence, but the driving ban that is lame. Full fault killer drivers should be taken off the roads permenantly...

Even 5-10 years would show that society takes killing cyclists seriously!

eburtthebike | 3 years ago

There was a study done something over ten years ago, which compared the average sentences given to drivers who killed.  Nobody on this page will be surprised to learn that killing a cyclist got a lower than average sentence.

Karbon Kev | 3 years ago

What an absolute joke, disgraceful!

Bentrider | 3 years ago

"...twice the legal limit for cocaine in his bloodstream."

So you can drive with SOME cocaine in your bloodstream??

ktache replied to Bentrider | 3 years ago

There is probably a little cocaine in all of us.

The entire money supply is contaminated.  Though seeing that the pandemic has caused us to go mostly cashless, the amounts are probably dropping, for most of us at least.

RoubaixCube | 3 years ago

So... Mowing down and killing someone while on a drug or alcohol binge only gets a little over 2 years in jail...
This isn't justice

RobD replied to RoubaixCube | 3 years ago

It was probably the day after the binge on the Saturday night (not that this makes it in any way better) but this is the issue a huge number of recreational drug users don't think/care about, that they party on a saturday night, fill themselves full of whatever crap they fancy, and then the next day expect to just get up and everything be normal again.

There isn't enough stigma around drug driving, people seem to be reluctant to accept that they probably know more people who take drugs recreationally than they think.

ktache | 3 years ago

My thoughts are with the family and friends of Ben Greenslade.

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