Driver jailed for death smash on Ryedale road

editorial image

A banned motorist has been jailed for three years after his reckless driving cost the life of his friend.

Stephen Gibson, 23, was driving a Peugeot 307 to Malton, where he sped up a steep moorland incline with four passengers inside.

Gibson clocked up speeds of at least 54mph on a narrow, winding stretch of road, causing the vehicle to veer out of control and crash into a stone wall, York Crown Court heard.

The car overturned before coming to a halt on the edge of moorland. One of his rear-seat passengers, 18-year-old Matthew Robinson, from Redcar, suffered fatal injuries.

Gibson, who has never held a licence, made initial denials and claimed that a sheep had walked across the road into the path of his vehicle, causing him to slam on the brakes, but later admitted causing death by careless driving and having no insurance or licence.

The tragic accident occurred at Blakey Bank, Farndale, on October 4, 2014, where motorists’ average speed is just 27mph because of the steepness of the incline.

Prosecutor Simon Waley said Gibson was travelling between 54mph and 62mph, which was far too fast for the conditions.

Gibson, of Upper Napier Street, Middlesbrough, had bought the car jointly with his friends a few weeks before the accident. The Peugeot was not taxed, licensed or insured.

“Tragically, none of the occupants (of the vehicle) were wearing seat belts,” said Mr Waley.

“The defendant was only a provisional licence holder and never passed a test.

“But, despite that, he has managed to accumulate 21 penalty points.”

Judge Paul Batty QC slammed Gibson for his “utter disregard” for the law and said it was highly probable he was showing off to his friends when he crashed. Mr Batty jailed him for three years. He was also banned from driving for four years.