Luton crash: Driver killed boy as he cycled home from football

  • Published
Michael RaffermatiImage source, Bedfordshire Police
Image caption,
Michael Raffermati had a clear view of the crossing for 443ft, the court heard

An "oblivious" speeding driver who killed a six-year-old boy who was cycling home from football training has been jailed for five and a half years.

The boy, was crossing Whitehorse Vale in Luton on 20 October 2018 with his adoptive father when he was struck by a car being driven by Michael Raffermati.

A court heard the boy was "catapulted on the road about 100ft".

Raffermati, 35, of Liddell Way, Leighton Buzzard, admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Luton Crown Court heard the boy, who the BBC has agreed not to name, had been following his father, who checked in each direction to ensure it was safe to cross.

Prosecutor Peter Shaw said the father was a little ahead of the boy, when he heard the roaring sound of the engine of what he later described as a fast-approaching car.

"He tried to shout to [the boy] to stop him, but realised [the boy] was already crossing the road behind him.

"[The father] witnessed [the boy] being struck by a car and catapulted on the road about 100ft (30.48m)."

Image source, South Beds News Agency
Image caption,
Flowers were left at the scene of the crash

Mr Shaw said the father tried to resuscitate his son, who he had adopted two months previously, but "his efforts were in vain" and the boy was pronounced dead in hospital.

The speed limit of the road was 30mph, but police estimated Raffermati was travelling at between 50mph and 61mph at the time of impact if there had been braking before.

Mr Shaw said: "The defendant was driving so fast he was oblivious to other vulnerable road users and either failed to see [the boy or his father] until it is too late, or does see them and carries on regardless."

Raffermati was also banned from driving for five years on his release from prison.

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