Reckless motorcyclist who performed wheelies outside Portsmouth police station where friend died is jailed

A MOTORCYCLIST whose friend tragically died after crashing outside a Portsmouth police station has been jailed for dangerous driving after he was racing at up to 80mph.

Saturday, 25th May 2019, 12:23 pm
Floral tributes to motorcyclist Ryan White on Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth Picture: Chris Moorhouse Tuesday 12th June 2018 FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY

A tearful Callum Jones, 21, was sent to prison for 10 months after ‘performing wheelies’ and speeding along Winston Churchill Avenue at 1am on June 9 last year in a Yamaha he was not licensed to drive before disaster struck.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard how Jones’ close friend Ryan White lost control by the roundabout outside the city centre police station before colliding with a pole as the pair made their way along the road.

Jones rushed over to help his friend, who was not moving, but after ‘panicking’ fled the scene with his motorbike before hiding and watching events unfold from afar as the emergency services arrived on scene.

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But despite their best efforts to save Mr Ryan, 20, of Havant, he died.

Jones said in his police statement: ‘I realised we were going too fast. I started to apply the brakes. Ryan was going too fast and lost control. He came off his bike and rolled and landed against a pole.

‘I tried to wake him up but he did not respond. I had the intention to help him but I knew he was in good hands when the emergency services turned up.

‘I thought he was alive and ok. When I found out Ryan had died I was devastated.’

But judge William Ashworth took a dim view of the reckless driving with him telling Jones he should have known better – especially after landing himself in trouble prior to the incident.

The defendant had appeared at court for similar offences where he was caught racing through Middle Park Way and Petersfield Road in Havant in June 2017. When he was caught by police he struggled free before shouting out to a friend for them to ‘f***-up’ the officer before making off.

The judge said: ‘You were riding along doing wheelies while driving with no licence or insurance, causing people to swerve out of the way.

‘When the police track you down you resisted arrest and threatened them before making off. You were wearing a green balaclava so you could not be identified.’

Jones received a conditional discharge for the offence in October 2017 – with the later offence where Mr White died falling inside the 10-month term of his punishment.

It meant Jones had to be re-sentenced for the previous offences, which had led to him pleading guilty to a host of driving offences as well as assaulting an officer and using threatening behaviour.

Referring to the incident where Mr White died, judge Ashworth said: ‘You were riding around central Portsmouth like it was a recreation area. You were going in excess of the speed limit – confirmed as being more than 68mph but could have been as much as 80mph – as you approached the roundabout outside the police station.   

‘You were racing, doing wheelies, showing off and taking risks. Sadly the speed Mr White was travelling at meant he did not survive after crashing.

‘You went over to Ryan who was not moving and tried to wake him for three minutes. You thought he was knocked out and panicked when he did not wake. You then went around the corner and remained watching when the emergency services turned up.

‘The accident took place right outside the police station. Your decision not to phone them is difficult to comprehend.’

He added: ‘You are sad and remorseful and have changed your attitudes to risk taking and offending behaviour.’

But despite this, judge Ashworth decided to impose a jail term on expectant dad Jones, of Stockheath Way, Havant.

Jones was also disqualified from driving for 29 months.