Speeding van driver who killed dad in Leeds is jailed

Thomas Alderson has been jailed at Newcastle Crown Court
Thomas Alderson has been jailed at Newcastle Crown Court

A SPEEDING van driver who knocked down and killed a “doting father” in Leeds has been jailed for 12 months.

The Ford Transit van Adam Avison was driving struck pedestrian David Atkinson, 61, as he attempted to cross Kirkstall Road at Kirkstall Forge junction just before 8.30am on Saturday January 10 2015.

Leeds Crown Court heard Mr Atkinson had been walking to Armley Leisure Centre to see his children aged eight and ten at their swimming lesson.

Prosecutor, Jonathan Sharp said 31-year-old Avison, of New Road Side, Horsforth, was working overtime that Saturday morning.

Mr Sharp said Avison heading towards the city centre and accelerated to 63mph in a 30mph zone as he approached Kirkstall Forge junction.

Mr Sharp said Avison “jumped” the first set of lights on amber and was driving at around 55mph when he went through the second set of lights on green.

The court heard Mr Atkinson was attempting to cross Kirkstall Road around 20m beyond the second rest of lights.

Mr Sharp said: “He did not anticipate the defendant jumping the amber lights at speed and passing through the junction at speed when other traffic had stopped.”

Mr Sharp said Avison tried to swerve, but was travelling “much too fast” to brake and avoid a collision on the wet road The court heard the impact speed was between 37mph and 40mph.

Mr Atkinson, who was thrown 35m by the impact, was pronounced dead at the scene. Avison admitted causing death by careless driving.

Mitigating, David James said Avison is the father of a two-year-old and is a hard-working family man.

Mr James said: “Throughout these proceedings he has expressed remorse. There is not a moment in the day when he doesn’t think about Mr Atkinson”

Jailing Avison for 12 months and banning him from driving for four years, Judge Tom Bayliss QC described Mr Atkinson as a “good and doting father.” Judge Bayliss told Avison: “You were in a hurry. You were driving too fast at a speed that was grossly inappropriate for the conditions.”

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