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Hit-and-run cyclist killer jailed

The BBC: Hit-and-run cyclist killer jailed

A businessman who admitted driving into a cyclist and leaving him for dead has been jailed for seven and a half years.

Brian Williams, 35, of Chester Avenue, Urmston, knocked down 21-year-old Billy Harrison in Urmston and failed to stop, in the early hours of 3 May.

When he returned to the scene later a Greater Manchester Police officer spotted human tissue on his clothing.

Williams tried to convince the officer it was tree sap, Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

The court was told he was twice the legal limit for drinking while driving and had no insurance.

Williams pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.

Several of Mr Harrison’s family, from Davyhulme, shielded their eyes as CCTV footage of the hit-and-run was played to the court.

It showed Mr Harrison cycling home from a nightclub with two friends on Higher Urmston Road.

A silver BMW X5, driven by Williams, could be seen on the wrong side of the road, ploughing into the cyclist at a speed estimated to be up to 60 mph.

Mr Harrison was thrown into the air and killed instantly.

A post-mortem examination concluded that he died from a huge trauma to the head, while he also suffered lacerations to the heart and a crushed liver and spleen.

Body tissue was found on the side of the road, on Williams’s car and on the driver’s clothing, the court heard.

Billy Harrison was cycling home from a nightclub when he was run over.

Mark Kellet, prosecuting, told the court that Williams had been seen before the accident repeatedly revving his car while a crowd egged him on.

After he hit Mr Harrison, he carried on driving and there was no evidence of him braking.

In his police interviews, Williams admitted having had four pints of lager but insisted he did not feel drunk.

He said he could not avoid the accident as the cyclist had cut across him.

Martin Callery, defending, read out a statement from Williams in which he spoke of his remorse, but the family of Mr Harrison refused to listen to it and left the court room.

Mr Harrison had also been drinking and was using his mobile telephone while cycling, Mr Callery told the court.

Sentencing Williams, Judge Jonathan Foster QC said:

"Your windscreen shattered and, with the severe damage to your car, it must have been evident to you that something very serious had happened.

"The predominant cause of this accident was your driving and, as you have accepted, if you had never been speeding or drinking the accident would not have happened."