Drug driver who killed motorcyclist and father of five Michael Howard jailed for more than six years
- Credit: Archant
A man who killed a motorcyclist from Outwell while high on drugs and driving a car he had stolen from a garage forecourt has been jailed for more than six years.
Neville Smith, 22, stole a Saab 93 from a second-hand dealer in Peterborough on August 22.
Almost four hours later, Smith was tailgating a car on Bretton Way, Peterborough, when he cut a corner.
Sweeping across the carriageway, he struck motorcyclist, Michael Howard, 42, a father of five, who was riding in the opposite direction.
Mr Howard, riding his grey Suzuki GSXR 750 K4, was knocked into the vehicle Smith had been tailgating and died from his injuries at the scene.
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He was on his way to meet fellow bikers at The Coffee Tree Xperience on the A47 in Guyhirn.
Sergeant James Thorne said: “By showing off to friends, Smith caused the death of an innocent, law abiding motorcyclist.
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“Instead of doing the right thing and stopping to give assistance, he chose to drive off and abandon the vehicle before fleeing.
“Mr Howard’s family have been left devastated because of his selfish and illegal behaviour. I would hope the sentence passed today will deter those who think that ‘joy riding’ is fun and harmless.
“It takes a matter of seconds for a situation to change and for the consequences to become fatal.”
Mr Howard was also a keen supporter of Cambridge Bikers Christmas Toy Run, where he would deliver presents to children at Addenbrooke’s Hospital each year.
A post on the Cambridge Bikers Christmas Toy Run Facebook page at the time said: “Some of you are already aware but great CBCTR supporter, Michael Howard, was killed in Peterborough.
“This page is not for recriminations and anger against those responsible, who will now face justice, but is merely to convey the message of Biker Down.
Peterborough Crown Court was told that Smith abandoned the car after the crash and ran into nearby woods with three passengers, a man and two women.
After throwing the car keys into undergrowth he called police on his mobile to tell them that he had caused a fatal collision.
Smith was arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs.
On his way to the police station Smith stated: “I didn’t see him, and now he’s dead. I’ve killed someone and I have to live with that.”
Smith, of Elms Road, Harrow, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking causing death, bilking, theft of number plates, causing death whilst uninsured, causing death whilst disqualified, and failing to stop after an accident.
Smith was jailed for six years and four months and disqualified from driving for five years on Friday (December 7).