'A complete contempt for the lives of others': Driver who caused deaths of two friends in horror crash in East Ardsley is jailed for ten years

A driver was told he had shown 'complete contempt for people's lives' as he was jailed for ten years for causing the deaths of two of his friends in a horrific car crash in Leeds.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 4:04 pm
Updated Friday, 30th July 2021, 5:42 pm

Timothy Cawley was handed the decade-long sentence at Leeds Crown Court today (July 30) over the death of Ian Broadhurst and Matthew Wilson.

The 35-year-old car dealer also seriously injured two other passengers and the driver of another car during the incident on Bradford Road, East Ardsley, on June 26, 2019.

Leeds Crown Court heard how the fatal collision was "almost inevitable" after Cawley showed a "flagrant and repeated disregard for the rules of the road".

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Timothy Cawley was jailed for ten years for causing the deaths of Ian Broadhurst and Matthew Wilson in the car crash on Bradford Road, East Ardsley.

Mr Broadhurst, 34, and Mr Wilson, 26, died at the scene of the crash after suffering catastrophic injuries when Cawley drove into the back of a Ford Focus as he tried to overtake the vehicle at speed in his VW Golf.

Cawley's vehicle was then thrown into the path of an oncoming Mercedes.

The Golf went into the air after being struck by the Mercedes and span before coming to rest.

Carmel Pearson, prosecuting, said Cawley had driven dangerously for five-and-a-half miles prior to the collision which happened around 6.30am.

Ian Broadhurst died in the car crash on Bradford Road, East Ardsley.

Witnesses described how he almost crashed head-on into a lorry on Horbury Road, in Wakefield, as he drove with his four passengers minutes earlier.

Cawley also drove across a roundabout on the wrong side of the road and came close to causing another head-on crash as he carried out dangerous overtaking manoeuvres.

Cawley was thrown from his car after the impact and was taken to hospital, where he refused to allow police to take a sample of his blood for analysis.

A wrap of cocaine was found in his sock.

Matthew Wilson died in the car crash on Bradford Road, East Ardsley.

Ms Pearson said one of the seriously injured passengers was the defendant's cousin.

The cousin's injures included a fractured skull, a fractured jaw bone, fractured ribs, spinal injuries and damage to his liver and kidneys.

The other passenger suffered head and lung injuries and the driver of the Mercedes had to undergo surgery after breaking his wrist.

The prosecutor said neither of the injured passengers provided statements after the incident, saying they had no memory of what happened.

Cawley also claimed to have no memory of the collision or where they had been before the incident.

Ms Pearson said father-of-two Cawley was living in East Ardsley at the time of the crash and may have been driving to his home.

CCTV footage of the collision was played at today's sentencing hearing which was attended by members of the victims' families.

Mr Wilson's mum, Michelle Knapton, read a victim impact statement to the court.She said: "My child isn't supposed to go before me.

"His life wasn't just taken. It was robbed. He did not have a bad bone in his body."

Ms Knapton told Cawley: "You will never know the pain unless you go through what my family and friends have.

"I will never be able to bring my baby back and no one should have to live like this."

Cawley, of Westerton Road, Tingley, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, three of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and one of possession of cocaine.

He has two previous convictions for drink driving.

A driving ban for one of the offences ended three months before the fatal crash.

Cawley also has convictions for assault and attempted burglary.

James Lake, mitigating, said Cawley accepted he must face a lengthy prison sentence.

The barrister said: "He will have to suffer the consequences and bear the burden of causing the deaths of these two young men long after he is released from custody.

"He is devastated by what he has done.

"He cannot turn the clock back and he knows he will have to serve a lengthy sentence."

Sentencing, Judge Robin Mairs told Cawley: "This was not a momentary lapse in driving standards.

"It is clear from the witnesses and the CCTV that this was a five-and-a-half mile journey in which you showed flagrant and repeated disregard for people's lives.

"You showed contempt for the safety of pedestrians, road users and even the safety of those in your own car.

"You drove with complete contempt for the lives of others."

After the case, Det Con Martyn Burns, of West Yorkshire Police Major Collision Enquiry Team, said: “Cawley’s appalling actions at the wheel cost two men their lives and left three others seriously injured in an incident that very starkly illustrates the tragic human consequences of dangerous driving.

“The families of Matthew Wilson and Ian Broadhurst have been left utterly devastated at their deaths, and we can only hope that it will bring them some small measure of comfort to know the person responsible has now had to answer for his actions.”