‘Passenger died in 140mph car race’ on Wrenthorpe bypass

A member of Northumbria police staff has appeared in court
A member of Northumbria police staff has appeared in court

A passenger was killed when a driver lost control of his high-performance car as he raced another vehicle at speeds of up to 140mph, a jury heard.

David Thompson, 35, died from injuries sustained when Thomas Jessop, 28, lost control of his BMW M3 as he drove along the A650 Wrenthorpe bypass, Wakefield.

The prosecution at Leeds Crown Court claim Jessop and another man, Alexander Clacker, 23, were racing each other at the time of the incident on April 18, 2015.

Jessop was thrown from the car as he was not wearing a seat belt when the vehicle went out of control, flipped over and collided with trees.

Mr Thompson had been wearing a seat belt and remained in the vehicle.

He died from his injuries almost a month later, on May 13.

Simon Waley, prosecuting, told the jury how Clacker had been driving his friend, Rachel Lloyd, home from a shopping trip in his Mitsubishi Evo when they saw Jessop’s BMW at traffic lights near to the M1.

Mr Waley said Lloyd could recall the BMW’s engine revving and speeding off before flashing its hazard lights.

The prosecutor said: “You will hear from Rachel Lloyd that Mr Clacker initially showed some reluctance to enter into the race, but as the road straightened out they both went for it.”

The jury was told Lloyd looked at the speedometer and it had a reading of 140mph.

The court heard Clacker weaved in and out of traffic to try to keep up with the BMW.

Jessop lost control of the BMW as it came up behind another vehicle.

Mr Waley said Clacker stopped and told Lloyd to ring an ambulance.

The prosecutor continued: “While they were still at the scene, Rachel said to him ‘do you know what speed you were doing?’ and she told him she thought it was 140mph.

“His reply was ‘**** sake, don’t tell them that.”

The court heard Lloyd initially gave a “sanitised version of events” when she gave a statement to police.

The jury was told she later gave another statement to the police in which she told them about Clacker’s speed.

Mr Waley said: “Because she gave a different account she has entered a guilty plea in these courts to attempting to pervert the course of justice herself.

“She has already entered that guilty plea and you will be hearing from her.”

Jessop, of Blenheim Chase, Huddersfield, pleads not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

Clacker, First Avenue, Wakefield, pleads not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and attempting to pervert the course of justice.