VIDEO: Judge condemns 'macho-inspired bravado' of two young drivers who killed woman, 51, while racing through Bradford (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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VIDEO: Judge condemns 'macho-inspired bravado' of two young drivers who killed woman, 51, while racing through Bradford
Updated 10:32am Tuesday 8th July 2014 in News
A judge has condemned the "macho-inspired bravado" of two young drivers who killed a woman as they raced each other through Bradford.
Thomas Healey, 21, and Joseph Robinson, 23, were travelling at high speeds in a residential street when Robinson's high-powered BMW 330i ploughed, at more than 60mph, into a cab taking Mary Byrne home.
The 51-year-old was fatally injured when she was hurled from a back window of the cab by the force of the impact, and then struck by it as it was spun round.
Bradford Crown Court yesterday heard that Robinson and Healey, who was driving his father's Ford Focus ST, had raced each other at high speed for more than two miles on a busy Saturday teatime.
Prosecutor Tim Capstick said witnesses were so shocked by the driving of the two young men several alerted police.
One pedestrian pushed her children back against a wall and stood in front of them to protect them. Another driver had to brake sharply to avoid a collision as the two cars tore across a roundabout.
Jailing Healey for six years, and Robinson for five years and three months, Judge John Potter said there was no evidence to suggest there was any connection between the vehicles and their drivers.
He told them it must have been a "spur of the moment decision by two young and, it appears, intelligent men, driving high performance motor vehicles, to indulge themselves in a high speed chase - deciding to race each other, perhaps with a view to testing each other's macho-inspired bravado."
Judge Potter said the driving that followed showed "so little consideration and care of others as to amount to almost indescribable selfishness".
Mrs Byrne, a mother-of-four with seven grandchildren, was being taken by cab to her home in Mandale Road, Horton Bank Top, Bradford, after doing some shopping for her mother and visiting a friend who was celebrating her birthday, when the crash happened, at about 5pm on Saturday, April 20, last year.
Cab driver Basharat Hussain was turning right into her drive when Robinson's BMW came over a slight brow in the road and hit the back of his Vauxhall Vectra. Mr Hussain was injured in the collision, had to take time off work and had suffered psychologically.
Robinson was arrested at the scene. Healey drove off but gave himself up to police a couple of hours later.
The court heard the pair had begun racing near to the car park of Tesco in Halifax Road, Bradford.
Healey had been driving in an aggressive and anti-social manner an hour and a half before the fatal collision.
Robinson was on bail at the time for an offence of aggravated vehicle taking, which resulted in him wrecking a £25,000 car.
Robinson, of Westminster Gardens, Clayton, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. Healey, of Brow Lane, Clayton, was found guilty by a jury.
Robinson's barrister, Nick Worsley, said he was full of remorse, had pleaded guilty, and had offered to give evidence for the prosecution against his co-accused.
Robin Frieze, for Healey, said he had belatedly demonstrated understanding and insight into what he did.
Judge Potter described Mrs Byrne as a devoted and loving woman who enjoyed a close relationship with her family. He said the events had introduced a chasm into their lives which would never be filled.
After the case, Sergeant Carl Quinn, of the Major Collision Enquiry Team, said: "Robinson and Healey showed no regard for the rules of the road or the safety of those around them by racing their cars through the streets of Bradford that day, and their actions resulted in the tragic death of an innocent woman.
"I hope they will use this time to think about the consequences of their actions, which will remain with them, as well as Mary's family, for the rest of their lives."