‘We’ve waited a long time for this day’

A family picture of Mick Daish at his 70th birthday party
A family picture of Mick Daish at his 70th birthday party

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  • Tractor driver jailed for causing death of Portsmouth pensioner Mick Daish
  • Former Pompey player Liam Daish tells of family’s anguish at his father’s death
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A TRACTOR driver has been jailed for causing the death of a Portsmouth man when a straw-filled trailer toppled over and crushed his car.

And today the son of Mick Daish, former Pompey player Liam Daish, has spoken of the family’s heartache after waiting two-and-a-half years to get any justice.

Gary Gosnell, 28, was jailed for 18 months at Chichester Crown Court for causing the death of 70-year-old Mick by careless driving and for not having the correct driving licence.

Judge Christopher Parker QC spoke of the ‘inestimable grief’ felt by Mick’s family after the tragedy at about 7am on September 28, 2012, on the B2145, in Sidlesham, near Chichester.

The former Royal Navy submariner, of Compton Road, Hilsea, who was still working as a welder, was on his way to work when large bales of straw fell on his car.

The court heard how Gosnell’s trailer wheels lifted off the ground and his trailer toppled on to the other side of the road, spilling the hay on to Mick’s oncoming Alfa Romeo.

Mick died at the scene.

Judge Parker told Gosnell: ‘The cause of the accident was your excessive speed.

‘You were driving too fast for your vehicle, your load, the traffic conditions and the layout of the road that you knew well.’

Witnesses reported Gosnell, of Blackberry Lane, Selsey, was driving a tractor behind a similar one driven by farmer Ashley Strange.

The pair were taking straw to a farm in West Sussex and the court heard Gosnell did not know the way, meaning he did not want any vehicle getting between them.

Witnesses reported there was barely any distance between the tractors.

One said they were going around 35mph, which he felt was ‘too fast, bearing in mind the size of their load’.

Judge Parker said: ‘You did that for your own need and without consideration of the risks that might be occasioned to other road users.

‘It was a persistent case of bad driving to achieve your own ends and it fell not very far short of being dangerous driving in law.’

The court also heard Gosnell liked someone else’s post about the ‘supremacy’ of tractors on Facebook in the months before sentencing.

This caused additional distress for the family, the court heard.

After the sentence, Liam Daish, 46, from Hayling Island, also the former manager of Havant and Waterlooville FC, told The News the last two and half years had been horrific ‘from start to finish’.

He said: ‘The family have been dragged through it all.

‘We have gone through a lot to get to this day.

‘We have waited a long time for this day.

‘We worked out it’s been 30 months since my dad was killed.

‘Justice is very hard when you lose a loved one, dad or husband.

‘The judge can only give out a sentence.

‘There’s guidelines on what they can and can’t give. We have to accept that.’

He said the family were still struggling to come to terms with the change of plea by Gosnell, just six weeks before the two-week trial that was planned.

Liam added: ‘It’s been a long, long time.

‘We can now try to move on. But dad won’t be far away from our thoughts.’

Mick was a former president of The Irish Club in Southsea and a member of Irish folk band, Mist On The 
Bog

Strange, 29, of Hundredsteddle Lane, Birdham, near Chichester, who was driving the first tractor, pleaded guilty at Worthing Magistrates’ Court to three charges relating to maintenance of the breaking system of the tractor and trailer and was given a fine of 
£6,000.