A police investigation has started after it emerged that a Bradford businessman convicted last week of failing to identify a driver caught speeding in his car had died six months before the offence was committed.
Kevin Parratt, 70, suffered a fatal heart attack while on holiday in Jordan on February 17, 2013.
But a year to the day later, Mr Parratt, of Moorfield Road, Bingley, was convicted by Bradford and Keighley magistrates of failing to provide information about the driver of a Jaguar car, still registered in his name, who was caught speeding in Thornton Road, Bradford, on August 8 last year.
The case, heard in the defendant’s absence, resulted in a £600 fine, £80 costs and a £60 victim’s surcharge.
Mr Parratt’s shocked sisters contacted the authorities after reading about their dead brother’s conviction in the Telegraph & Argus. West Yorkshire Police have now begun a probe into how the case ended up in court.
Zafar Iqbal, operations manager for the West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership, said: “We will now be looking at this matter in more detail to establish if any offences have occurred.”
One of Mr Parratt’s sisters, Gwen Stanley, 73, of Heaton, said: “My sister Joyce and I have both been very upset since we saw it in the paper. Kevin died exactly a year ago to the day of the court case.
“The T&A carried an obituary on him because he was a such a popular man – a keen golfer, Bradford Bulls fan and he used to compere boxing matches.”
A spokesman for the magistrates’ court told the T&A no legal paperwork, including files from the DVLA, suggested Mr Parratt had died..
A DVLA spokesman said although there was nothing in law to force people to tell it of a relative’s death, it was considered a duty.
Mr Iqbal, of the Casualty Reduction Partnership, said: “When the case is heard at court, the court contacts the DVLA to establish a driver’s licence record. As the DVLA had not been informed of Mr Parratt’s death, then we had no way of knowing from our systems that he had passed away.”