Crowland

Video: Ram-raider killed another man while fleeing crime

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Courts heard a 30-year-old man “ran like a coward” from the scene of a fatal collision, straight after an attempted ram raid.

Dale Smith of Front Road, Murrow, broke into a yard at Crowland Cranes in Crease Drove, Corwlans in the early hours of August 1 last year.

He made his way to the Co-op in West Street, Crowland in a stolen Toyota Hi-Lux and at about 4am he and two others attempted to steal an ATM machine.

They placed the strops around the machine and pulled it from the store into the middle of the road but were unable to lift it and abandoned it a few minutes later.

Smith and the others made off in a black Audi S3 which had been stolen previously in a burglary at Collyweston in July.

Less than 15 minutes after leaving the scene, Smith crashed head on into a Nissan Primera on the B1040, Ransey Road in Whittlesea.

He and the other occupants fled the scene, where the Nissan driver, 51-year-old Mark Collin from Whittlesey died from his injuries.

Mark Collins sadly died at the scene of the crash.

Just before 8am Smith was seen in Market Street, Whittlesey with wet, dirty, torn clothes and no shoes. He was reported to police by a member of the public and was later arrested.

Seconds before the collision, the Audi passed a CCTV camera which clocked the vehicle at 84mph in an area surveyed to have an average speed of just over 40mph.

Dale Smith pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, causing death while driving without a licence, burglary, aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving and handling stolen goods.

He was sentenced to 12 years in prison at Peterborough Crown Court on April 30.

Judge Matthew Lowe said the fatal injures were caused “wholly” by Smith, who “ran like a coward” after the fatal collision.

PC Pete Bimson from Cambridgeshire Constabulary said: “This was a tragic collision that arose out of Smith’s selfish actions and criminality.

“Smith and two others committed a burglary and whilst fleeing the scene, drove dangerously, resulting in the death of Mr Collin.

“I hope that today, after a complex investigation, Smith’s guilty plea will provide some comfort to the family and friends of Mr Collin.”

Smith received nine years for causing death by dangerous driving and three years for burglary to be served consecutively.

He received 12 months for each of the other charges except for handling stolen goods, for which he received six months, to be served concurrently.