Leeds & West Yorkshire

Driver jailed for cyclist Andrew Platten's death

Akash Rashid Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Rashid had been fleeing police when he collided with Dr Platten

A driver whose car struck and killed a cyclist as he tried to escape police has been jailed for 10 years.

Dr Andrew Platten, 55, was cycling in Bingley, when he was hit by Akash Rashid's car in July 2016. He died at the scene.

Rashid, 22, of Brantwood Grove, Heaton, admitted a number of offences at Bradford Crown Court in January.

Sentencing, Judge David Hatton QC described the 22-year-old's driving as "grotesque".

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"You drove in such a manner that you lost control of your vehicle and took away a life when you struck a cyclist causing him devastating injuries and instantaneous death," Judge Hatton said.

Rashid admitted causing death by dangerous driving, driving without a full licence and without insurance and driving while under the influence of drugs.

He also admitted supplying cannabis and possessing cannabis with intent to supply and an unrelated assault offence.

Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Dr Andrew Platten was described as as "respected and dedicated" academic

Police, in an unmarked vehicle, had seen Rashid supplying a £10 cannabis deal to a group of students but he fled when they pursued him.

His collision with Dr Platten took place soon afterwards.

Dr Platten, who worked at Leeds Beckett University, had a "true passion" for cycling, his family said.

"Most importantly he was a loved friend, loyal brother and uncle, loving partner and a truly inspirational father," they added.

A letter from Rashid was read in court by his barrister in which he apologised to Dr Platten's family and said he hoped they could "find it in their hearts to forgive me".

Rashid was told the usual sentence would have been 12 years but it was reduced to nine due to his guilty plea.

He was given an additional six months for the drug offences and a further six months for the assault case and banned from driving for eight years.

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