Army driver sentenced for "car-cruising club" death

23/04/2014

A highly qualified Army driver has been jailed for 15 months for killing a teenager in a crash at a so-called “car-cruising club”.

Chester Crown Court heard Gareth Jones and Jack Bellis were among a group of young drivers who'd gathered to race on an industrial estate in Runcorn in 2012.

But on the night of 14 October, Gareth Jones,  23, from Cradley, Widnes, made an unexpected turn as he raced and drove into the path of Jack Bellis.

The 19 year old's motor bike crashed into the car's nearside and Jack suffered fatal injuries.

The jury deliberated for seven hours and found Gareth Jones guilty of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving.

Gareth Jones was later sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to 15 months in prison and has been disqualified from driving for three years.

His Honour Judge Teague praised Jack's parents for the dignity and courage they had shown throughout the case.

The trial jury heard Jones had been in the Army since 2007 and had passed several driving qualifications.

Mairead Neeson, Senior Crown Prosecutor, with the Crown Prosecution Service Mersey-Cheshire, said: "This has been a tragic case with no winners.

"A young man is dead and another has been jailed as the result of what anyone can see is a highly dangerous pastime.

"Jack Bellis' parents have seen justice done but they still have to come to terms with the loss of their son.

"Gareth Jones must come to terms with the result of his actions on that night - actions that he still can't explain."