A MAN has been jailed for killing a ‘much-loved’ pensioner when the speeding Land Rover he was driving was launched off a roundabout, causing fatal injuries to the man.

Richard Huitson was racing a white Transit van moments before his 4x4 ploughed into William Lewis when he lost control at almost twice the speed limit on Belasis Road, Billingham.

The 37-year-old fled the scene in the Transit van before it circled back to see the ‘devastation’ he had created on August 23 before the pair abandoned the van and were picked up in a Mercedes car.

Teesside Crown Court heard the heavily convicted criminal had previously served jail sentences for robbery and has a history of driving offences including fleeing the scene of a crash.

Mr Lewis’ daughter Melanie Segrave made an impassioned victim impact statement which was read out in court.

She described her father as a loving, kind and fun-loving man whose death had left a gaping hole in their lives.

She wrote: “Most of all he loved his family and he was happiest when his house was full and when his grandchildren were around.”

Judge Stephen Ashurst jailed Huitson for six years and eight months and banned him from driving for nine years and four months.

He said: “You know perfectly well that you are the person solely responsible for the unnecessary and untimely death of Mr Lewis, it is entirely due to your selfish decision to drive in that way on that day.”

Huitson, of Lime Trees Close, Port Clarence , near Billingham, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.

Detective Inspector Jon Tapper from Stockton CID, said: “I am pleased with the sentence handed to Richard Huitson today, which reflects the severity of the crime that was committed on August 23rd.

“A man sadly lost his life as a result of Huitson’s actions and today justice has been served. I hope William Lewis’s family and friends can take comfort knowing Huitson will remain behind bars for a long time.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my team and our colleagues in the Roads Policing Unit for their hard work and dedication to bringing Huitson to trial. Without their commitment, Huitson would not have been brought to justice.”

The Northern Echo:

Police are still appealing for the driver of a white transit van (ND57 NJ0), pictured above, who picked Huitson up following the fatal collision to come forward as they may be able to assist officers with a fatal collision investigation.

  • Anyone with information regarding the driver is asked to contact Cleveland Police’s officers at Stockton CID on 101 quoting 144994.