A DRINK-DRIVER who knocked down and killed a Burton cyclist has been jailed for nearly seven years.
Pensioner Garry Hobson died in hospital after being hit by Rizwan Rafaqat’s Audi in Uxbridge Street.
Security cameras at a mosque filmed the Audi, its windscreen smashed, speeding away from the scene moments after the impact, Stafford Crown Court heard.
Rafaqat failed to stop, failed to report the crash, which happened on September 2, and abandoned his car in nearby South Broadway Street.
Mr Hobson, who was 68, was left lying fatally injured in the road, and was tended to by good samaritan Emma Watson, who was praised by Judge Paul Glenn for her actions.
The victim, a fit man for his age, who had beaten cancer, was cycling home from his allotment when he was hit by Rafaqat on a straight stretch of road easily wide enough for him to pass safely.
Paul Farrow, prosecuting, said the defendant was arrested at his home 90 minutes after the collision, and a breath test at Burton Police Station revealed he had 92 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – nearly three times the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.
The 31-year-old, of Branston Road, was jailed for six years and eight months and banned from driving for eight years, after he admitted a charge of causing death by careless driving while above the legal alcohol limit.
Judge Glenn branded him ‘a danger to other road users’ after being told it was Rafaqat’s third excess alcohol offence.
He had only been back on the roads a few months following a two-and-a-half-year ban.
Judge Glenn told him: “You have a number of convictions which illustrate your disregard for road traffic legislation. You had only been legal to drive again since January this year.
“Garry Hobson was making his way home on his bike.
“He was a regular cyclist, he was in the habit of visiting his allotment at night, his lights were on and he was riding his cycle perfectly properly.
“This accident was caused by you. It happened because you were drunk and driving too quickly for the road.
“A witness ran outside to find the deceased lying on the floor in the road, where you left him.
“She did what human beings ordinarily do – she tried to assist him. Your concern was self-preservation.
“You drove from the scene without stopping and – from the CCTV – at some speed. You gave some of your clothes and your phone to be disposed of.
“Mr Hobson was not only a husband, he was also a carer. His wife describes being confined to the house, virtually as a prisoner. The whole family has been left in a state of shock.
“I regard you as an irresponsible motorist and a danger to other road users.”
Officers traced the driver of the Audi and found Rafaqat at his home address 90 minutes later. He was bare chested and clearly drunk.
As he was taken outside, he asked: ‘where’s my car?’
He was questioned following the breath test and after two ‘no comment’ interviews, he finally admitted he was the driver and said he was ashamed that someone had died.
He said he had been to a golf club, downed four double vodkas and then driven home.
The court heard the defendant was caught drink-driving in November 2008, and in January the following year.
In January 2010, he was jailed for vehicle taking and driving while disqualified.
Andrew Jackson, defending, said: “He didn’t set out that evening to do what happened, but he must live with the consequences.”