South East Wales

Rider killed cousin in Aberfan motorbike crash

Jonathan Walmsley Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption Jonathan Walmsley had been drinking and had taken drugs before the crash

A drunk biker who killed his pillion passenger cousin when his motorbike crashed has been jailed for three years and four months.

Jonathan Walmsley, 27, of Aberfan, and his cousin Andrew Lewis, 22, were both riding without helmets in the town while speeding in a 20mph zone.

Walmsley tried to overtake a turning car but crashed. Mr Lewis came off the bike and hit a telegraph pole.

Walmsley admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Merthyr Crown Court heard Walmsley had tested positive for cannabis and amphetamines as well as alcohol after the crash in April 2017.

Prosecutor Sarah Waters said: "People heard a high-revving motorcycle and saw two men without crash helmets on a motorbike.

"One witness said the motorbike came out of nowhere."

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Ann Lewis, Mr Lewis's mother, said in a victim impact statement read out in court: "Why is my son six feet under when the rider of the bike is able to get on with his life?

"He is laughing and out with his friends - it's as if he doesn't care that Andrew was taken from us."

However defence barrister Lucy Crowther said Walmsley had shown "genuine remorse".

She said: "He has said he wishes he was dead and not his cousin. He didn't set out to do this, it was a tragic accident which should never have happened."

Jailing Walmsley, Judge Richard Twomlow told him: "Andrew was a relative and a friend - I accept you feel remorse.

"But you carried out an extremely dangerous manoeuvre while driving with alcohol and drugs in your system."

He also banned Walmsley from driving for four years and eight months.

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