Trio jailed after ex-teacher’s death

Police activity on Lennox Drive, Lupset. (d25071103)
Police activity on Lennox Drive, Lupset. (d25071103)

A DRIVER that hit a retired teacher and sped off leaving him dying in the road has been jailed.

His friends, who helped hide the four-by-four vehicle at a disused airfield, were also jailed at Leeds Crown Court.

Peter Lambert, 68, was walking home after buying a newspaper when he was knocked down by James Duxfield, 27, on Lennox Drive, Lupset Park, last July.

Jailing him, Judge Christopher Batty said: “During that journey he was struck by your car James Duxfield, a car that you were driving at that time.

“He was struck with such force that he was left lying in the road and later tragically died from those injuries.”

Duxfield was jailed for 28 months and banned from driving for three years after he admitted dangerous driving, fraud and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

He could not be charged with death by dangerous driving because there were no witnesses.

Judge Batty added: “But what you did do, and we know, is having collided with him you left him dying in the road, your only thought being to save your own skin.”

Former deputy headteacher at Snapethorpe School Mr Lambert, of Cleveland Grove, died in hospital a day later from serious head injuries on July 24.

Prosecutor Nicholas Barker said the people who came to help Mr Lambert heard the wheels of Duxfield’s red Nissan Navara squeal as he sped off down Horbury Road.

Duxfield drove on the wrong side of the road to over-take cars and pass a traffic island.

During the getaway Duxfield called his friends John Ward, 29, and Denver Finney, 23, who he lived with on a traveller’s site in Horbury.

Together they went to a disused airfield in Lincolnshire where they paid a man £40 to hide the vehicle.

It was found a few days later during a police helicopter search.

Mitigating, David Callan said Duxfield, of Tower Road, County Durham, fled the scene because he panicked.

During the hearing last Friday the court heard that Ward, of Westwood Avenue, Kirkcaldy, and Finney, Victoria Road, Gainsborough, acted out of loyalty to their friend.

Ward was jailed for 20 months after admitting conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and breaching his bail conditions.

Finney was jailed for 14 months after admitting to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

After sentencing, Judge Batty praised the work of the Major Collision Investigation Team and the dignity shown by Mr Lambert’s wife Helen and her family.