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Drug driver sentenced for causing death of his 8 year old son

|News, Driving offences

A 40-year-old man from Marple has been sentenced to four years imprisonment for causing the death of his son by careless driving whilst over the drug limit and causing death whilst uninsured.

At approximately 1.40 pm on Friday 28 February 2020 Leon Clarke picked up his son, 8-year-old Blake Consterdine Clarke, and his 6-year-old son in his BMW from Middleton with the intention of driving to Marple in Stockport.

There was heavy rain, standing water and spray coming from the road surface reducing visibility.

Near junction 23 of the M60, Clarke was driving in the outside lane when he aquaplaned and lost control of the BMW. The car pivoted 180 degrees before hitting a stationary Iveco highways truck on the hard shoulder which was clearing debris from an earlier incident.

Members of the public stopped, removed Blake from the back seat of wreckage and began CPR until the arrival of the emergency services. He was taken to Royal Manchester Children's Hospital where he sadly died at 3.09pm.  

Leon Clarke was 13 times over the legal drug drive limit for Benzoylecgonine (also known as BZE a)nd was not insured to drive the BMW. 

He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing. He was today jailed for four years and also disqualified from driving for four years.

Jayne Sharpe for the CPS said: "Leon Clarke was well over the drug limit when he chose to drive with his two young children in the car. 

"Those drugs will have no doubt contributed to his impairment to drive carefully. He will have to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life.

"My thoughts are with all those who have been affected by the truly tragic events of that day."

Notes to editors

  • Jayne Sharpe is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West

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