Man jailed for causing death of driver
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A man has been jailed after causing the death of another driver in a collision last year.
The court heard how Thomas Cockroft, aged 25, of Hambridge Close, Stafford, was driving his VW Golf on Eccleshall Road in Stone at about midday on 20 September 2020 when he collided with a Ford Fiesta at the junction of Common Lane.
The driver of the Fiesta, Ian Kerr, aged 43, from Stone, was severely injured in the collision and died at Royal Stoke University Hospital on the 27 September. Alcohol toxicology results, on a blood sample obtained from Mr Kerr, showed he was one and half times over the legal limit for drink driving at the time of the incident.
Forensic collision investigators confirmed that Cockcroft was travelling at 70mph at the time of the collision, in a 30mph zone.
Evidence also showed he had been using his mobile phone whilst driving in the minutes prior to the crash.
Cockroft pleaded guilty at Stafford Crown Court in April to causing the death of Mr Kerr by dangerous driving.
He was sentenced on Wednesday (18 August), at the same court, to 65 months imprisonment and disqualified from driving for months 69 months, with a requirement to complete an extended re-test.
The court heard that Cockroft had been stopped by officers in August 2020, on suspicion of driving under the influence of cocaine. He was subsequently convicted and sentenced separately for that offence, in March 2021, where he was ordered to pay a £500 fine and handed a 12 month-disqualification.
PC Martin Colclough, of the Staffordshire and West Midlands Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: "This is a tragic case where someone has needlessly lost their life due to grossly excessive speed and the distraction of using a mobile phone.
"The fact that Cockroft was driving the month before the collision under the influence of drugs goes to show his total disregard for the rules of the road.
"I would encourage motorists to observe the speed limits, to not use their phones whilst driving and to avoid driving under any influence of drugs or alcohol."