Devon

Plymouth drunk driver Sonny Richards jailed for killing cyclist Nathan Dale

A Plymouth drunk driver has been jailed after he admitted causing the death of a cyclist.

Sonny Richards, 24, also pleaded guilty to careless driving while under the influence of alcohol and failing to stop on 12 March.

Nathan Dale, a 34-year-old father and RNLI volunteer, was wearing a helmet and lights when he was hit by Richards who was on the wrong side of the road.

CCTV showed Richards driving with no lights.

Plymouth Crown Court was told Mr Dale was struck on Outland Road in Plymouth shortly after 03:00 GMT and died about an hour later.

Richards sent a text message to his mother, saying: "I've let you down big time.

Image copyright Devon & Cornwall Police
Image caption Judge Ian Lawrie QC said Sonny Richards would "pay a heavy price" for his actions on 12 March

"...Been drinking, taken a sniff, taken car, on way home hit someone, he hit the windscreen, gonna have to go tomorrow and own up."

Jailing him, Judge Ian Lawrie QC said: "You are clearly not a bad person, it was never your intention to cause harm.

"You are clearly caring, thoughtful, you cared for your ailing father. You have expressed a profound sense of remorse.

"If you had been sober, Nathan would be alive today."

Image copyright RNLI
Image caption Nathan Dale was a father to a four-year-old and a Plymouth Lifeboat volunteer

David Lister, volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager at Plymouth RNLI, said: "Nathan was a volunteer deputy launching authority with Plymouth RNLI and had been with the station for two years, providing on-call cover one weekend a month.

"Not only did Nathan dedicate his time to the operation of the lifeboat, he was also involved with many fundraising events at the station, as well as volunteering with other charities.

"(He) was a valued member of our team at Plymouth and he will be fondly remembered."

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