WATCH: Twelve years jail for Murrow ram raider who 'ran like a coward' after head-on collision that killed Whittlesey man
PUBLISHED: 16:56 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:56 30 April 2018
A Murrow man who killed Whittlesey rugby player Mark Collin while running "like a coward" from the scene of an attempted ram raid has been jailed for 12 years.
Dale Smith, 30, of Front Road, Murrow, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, causing death while driving without a licence, burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving and handling stolen goods.
While sentencing Smith to 12 years imprisonment at Peterborough Crown Court today, judge Matthew Lowe said the fatal injuries were caused ‘wholly’ by Smith who ‘ran like a coward’ after the collision.
On August 1 last year, Smith broke into a yard at Crowland Cranes in Crease Drove Crowland at about 2.38am and stole crane strops from a toolbox.
He made his way to the Co-Op in West Street, Crowland in a stolen Toyota Hi-Lux and at about 4am he and two others attempted to steal an ATM machine. They placed the strops around the machine and pulled it from the store into the middle of the road but were unable to lift it and abandoned it a few minutes later.
Smith and the others made off in a black Audi S3 which had been stolen previously in a burglary at Collyweston on 21 July.
Less than 15 minutes after leaving the scene, Smith collided head-on with a green Nissan Primera on the B1040, Ramsey Road in Whittlesey. He and the other occupants fled the scene.
The Nissan was being driven by 51-year-old Mark Collin of Stonald Avenue, Whittlesey, who died at the scene.
Just before 8am Smith was seen in Market Street, Whittlesey with wet, dirty, torn clothes and no shoes. He was reported to police by a member of the public and was later arrested.
Seconds before the collision, the Audi passed in view of a CCTV camera from which it was calculated that it was being driven at 84mph. A survey of traffic on the B1040 revealed that the average speed of vehicles was found to be 41mph.
PC Pete Bimson said: “This was a tragic collision that arose out of Smith’s selfish actions and criminality.
“Smith and two others committed a burglary and whilst fleeing the scene, drove dangerously, resulting in the death of Mr Collin.
“I hope that, after a complex investigation, smith’s guilty plea will provide some comfort to the family and friends of Mr Collin.”
Smith received nine years for causing death by dangerous driving and three years for burglary to be served consecutively.
He received 12 months for each of the other charges except for handling stolen goods, for which he received six months, to be served concurrently.