Leeds pensioner jailed for five years over crash which killed ‘much-loved father’

Americo Barbacane, of Roundhay, Leeds
Americo Barbacane, of Roundhay, Leeds
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A Leeds pensioner who killed a “much-loved husband and father” after trying to overtake two vehicles in his car on a North Yorkshire road has been jailed for five years.

Americo Barbacane, 74, originally from Italy, attempted to overtake two vehicles on a blind bend on the B1222 near Sherburn in Elmet.

A young family who adored their father has been left devastated by a deliberate and very dangerous manoeuvre.

Zoe Billings, North Yorkshire Police

He crossed double white lines and hit a motorcycle ridden by 41-year-old Paul Sprakes travelling in the opposite direction, according to North Yorkshire Police.

Mr Sprakes, from Sherburn in Elmet, died in the collision at 4pm on August 21, 2014.

Earlier this month, Barbacane, of Ayresome Terrace, Roundhay, was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving, by a jury at York Crown Court. He was jailed the following day and handed a five-year driving ban.

Senior Investigating Officer, Zoe Billings of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Collision Investigation Team, said: “A young family who adored their father has been left devastated by a deliberate and very dangerous manoeuvre.

“Mr Sprakes had no time to take evading action and paid for Barbacane’s decision to overtake with his life. Today’s outcome sends a clear message of the deadly consequences of taking chances on the roads.

“My thanks go to Mr Sprakes’ family who have suffered immensely, yet have shown great patience and courage over the past 18 months as the investigation progressed, and to the witnesses who gave evidence in the case.

“Nothing can compensate or bring their much loved husband and father back, but I hope the fact that now justice has been done, it will offer the family some comfort knowing that someone has been held accountable for shattering their lives and that they can now start to move on.”

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