Grief-stricken dad says family have ‘life sentence’ after driver jailed for killing son on Fareham zebra crossing
A HEARTBROKEN parent said his family have been dealt a ‘life sentence’ after a disqualified driver was jailed for killing their son when he drove over the victim on a zebra crossing.
Dad Paul White said Tyron Prout will have to ‘live with what he’s done for the rest of his life’ after the 27-year-old was sent to jail for three years for the death of Jordan White, 23, at Portsmouth Crown Court.
But Mr White, speaking after the sentence, told The News he thought the length of the sentence was derisory. He said: ‘It’s neither here nor there.’
Prout admitted causing the death of Jordan while driving a Peugeot 206 when disqualified in Highlands Road, Fareham, at 12.06am on August 11, 2017.
The defendant had failed to see Jordan lying in the road when he came hurtling towards the man – despite there being two men on the side of the road ‘frantically waving for him to stop’.
After running over the victim, Prout sped off before returning to the scene to ask the witnesses ‘what they were waving for’.
When they pointed out the motionless body of the victim – who was confirmed dead at the scene – Prout selfishly sped off for the second time after telling the men: ‘I can’t be here.’
Prosecutor Daniel Sawyer told the court: ‘The man on the side of the road was with his son waving frantically trying to get Mr Prout to stop after seeing him driving towards them.
‘But Mr Prout drove straight over the zebra crossing and straight over Mr White before he drove off.’
But consumed by guilt, the defendant later handed himself into police and confessed all. ‘He told police he realised he had ran over something but thought it was a bit of debris. When he realised it was a person he panicked because he was a disqualified driver,’ Mr Sawyer said.
The prosecutor said visibility was reduced to a maximum of 22 metres due to the darkness and because the zebra crossing was on a slope. One of the car headlights on the car was not working either. ‘The way the brain works Mr Prout would have looked at the men standing to the side of the road and would not have recognised someone was lying down in the road,’ he said.
Reconstruction tests also concluded that Prout would ‘have had insufficient time to observe Mr White and to brake in time’.
The court heard how Prout had previous driving while disqualified offences with him jailed in May 2016 for eight weeks for his latest driving crime. He still had 26 months to run of a 41-month disqualification from that offence when he ran over Jordan.
Defending Daniel Reilly said Prout was extremely remorseful and had even tried to ‘take his own life in the immediate aftermath’ of the accident.
The barrister read out a heartfelt letter from the defendant to the family. In it, he said: ‘If I could turn back time then I would. It kills me every day to know what I did. It may not seem like it but I do have a heart.
‘Every morning I wake up knowing I’ve taken a life. I know I wasn’t meant to be driving but it was a terrible accident and I want Jordan’s family to know I’m so, so sorry.’
Speaking of the devastating loss of their beloved son, Mr White told The News: ‘It’s just been a devastating 18 months. Every day is very painful for us. It is a nightmare for us to think about the future without our son.
‘We feel strongly that Prout should have slowed down and stopped especially as Jordan was on a zebra crossing, there was another car there and two men were waving frantically for him to stop.
‘If (Prout) had stopped we would still have our son. Instead (Prout) will have to live what he’s done for the rest of his life.’
Judge William Mousley QC told Prout: ‘You’ve had so many chances – there are no excuses. You have a history of driving while disqualified, therefore your blameworthiness is high.
‘Jordan was a remarkable and loving son who improved the lives of many people. He is irreplaceable.’
PC Katherine Carr said after the sentence: ‘This was a tragic case in which a pedestrian, a young man, was killed by a disqualified driver. I am pleased that justice has now been served and my thoughts remain with the family of Mr White.’
Prout was also disqualified from driving for two and a half years starting when he leaves prison.