A PENSIONER on his way to a country shoot near Gilberdyke was hurled through the air after being hit by a young farmer who police said was probably on his mobile phone seconds before a horrific traffic collision.
Keith Calvert, 65, was stood near the boot of his Land Rover Freelancer when Jake Rewcastle, 20, ploughed into him in a Land Rover Discovery catapulting him into the air.
Mr Calvert landed in a ditch with fatal injuries – his glasses were found on the bonnet of the Discovery and fragments of his torn clothing were embedded in its front bonnet grill. Police accident investigators said Rewcastle could have been distracted by being on his mobile phone in a four-five minute call about buying a bacon sandwich.
It is alleged he had eight seconds to see Mr Calvert who was stood next to his parked car. Instead he drove straight into him – initially sandwiching him between the two vehicles on the B1230 at Scalby at 9.20am on December 6, 2014.
Mr Calvert’s family, who were in court to see Rewcastle, were put though the agony of a second post mortem preventing his body being released for burial. Rewcastle’s first defence team cynically tried to get him off responsibility for causing his death by seeking a second report on how he died.
Rewcastle, who was on his way to work, claimed he had been dazzle by the sun. He said he was wrestling with a visor moving it from the front to the side window to shield his eyes for four seconds.
However, after being told by a judge his driving appeared dangerous, Mr Rewcastle of Sandholme Road, Gilberdyke, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving in a 20-minute appearance at Hull Crown Court on Thursday, March 24.
Crown barrister Ian West told the court: “The defendant was definitely making a telephone call up to one second before the collision. We have taken the time of the accident from the time the second driver at the scene made a 999 call – working back – we can work out the time of the accident. There was CCTV and by doing the maths we can work out, within two seconds, the time of the crash.
“The Crown say at the moment of the collision, or very soon before, he was on the telephone to a friend,” said Mr West. “He denies it. He says the 4-5 minutes call about buying a bacon sandwich was concluded before he set off while he was de-icing his car. He said he had not hung up properly. The phone was found in the footwell of the car with a cracked screen. His friend said he had concluded the telephone call properly.”
Mr West said Rewcastle’s complaint about being dazzled by the low sun was an annoyance and not a distraction and his driving fell well below that expected of a careful and competent driver.
Defence barrister Abbas Lakha, QC, said on one view the mobile telephone call concluded 10 seconds before the impact and a large chunk of reaction time could be taken away by moving the windscreen visor. He said Mr Rewcastle may only have been expected to see the parked car for 6-7 seconds before the impact and did say he had seen it.
He said witnesses at the scene described Mr Rewcastle as being in shock.
“He is very anxious to make plain how remorseful he is,” said Mr Lakha, QC. “This is not something he has just arrived at. The impact on him has been terrible – including suffering nightmares. Every aspect of his life has changed. Our legal process did not permit him to say how remorseful he was to the family before now.
“I know the family were very upset, understandably so, because there was a second post mortem examination. That was unfortunate. It should not have happened. It was a lawyer’s decision taken by his lawyers who no longer represent him. It was a very bad decision.”
Judge Jeremy Richardson, QC, ordered Rewcastle to stand as he told him: “You have now pleaded guilty to what is a serious matter. All sentencing option are open at the moment and I am going to adjourn for a pre-sentence report. I have not made any decision at all about the right course of action. I repeat all sentencing options are open. It maybe a custodial sentence and it may be of some substance. These cases are always difficult for all concerned. You have pleaded guilty and that is a good thing.”
Rewcastle was allowed to walk free on bail to be sentenced at Hull Crown Court on April 20.