Jailed for fatal ‘racing’ Wrenthorpe bypass crash

David Thompson pictured with partner Rachel Cooper.

David Thompson pictured with partner Rachel Cooper.

Two drivers have been jailed after a 130mph race between high-performance cars resulted in a passenger’s death.

Thomas Jessop, 28, and Alexander Clacker, 23, were jailed for seven years each at Leeds Crown Court yesterday for causing death by dangerous driving.

Alexander Clacker.

Alexander Clacker.

A jury heard they raced a BMW M3 and Mitsubishi Evo along the A650 Wrenthorpe bypass on April 18, 2015.

Jessop, of Blenheim Chase, Huddersfield, lost control of 
his BMW, which crashed into the central reservation and trees.

Passenger David Thompson, 34, sustained serious injuries and died a month later.

Judge Simon Phillips QC said: “The result of this accident has been catastrophic. You showed flagrant disregard for the rules of the road and a disregard for the danger you posed to other users of the road.”

He said the life of Mr Thompson’s partner, Rachel Cooper, had been “effectively shattered”.

Judge Phillips acknowledged that Jessop suffered serious injuries of his own, including a fractured skull; that he did not remember the event, and that he had lost a friend.

Robin Frieze, mitigating, said Clacker, of First Avenue, Wakefield, stopped at the scene and called an ambulance.

Neither defendant had any previous convictions or driving licence endorsements.

Judge Philips banned both men from driving for five-and-a-half years.

Clacker’s passenger, Rachel Lloyd, was handed a nine month prison sentence suspended for 12 months after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice. She initially lied to police but later changed her statement and appeared as a witness.

FAMILY WARN OF DANGER DRIVING

In a statement Mr Thompson’s family said: “There have been no winners in the case. The families of three young men have been devastated, especially David, who was killed as a result of the dangerous actions of others.

“David was a fun-loving individual and lived life to the full. He was deeply in love with his partner, Rachel Cooper, and looking forward to spending the rest of their lives together.

“If anything can be learned from this tragic incident, the family wish it is that young individuals who drive fast, modified and powerful are aware of the potential outcomes of dangerous or reckless behaviour.”

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