A cyclist died after being thrown off a bike while caught between two drivers running into each other in a small dispute.
Graham Pattison, 49, decided to go cycling on a bright and sunny day on July 24, 2020.
But, unbeknownst to him, 24-year-old Paige Robinson, and 47-year-old David Ferry, were driving dangerously on a road blinded by road rage.
Their row began when Robinson accidentally cut the ferry twice while driving on the A1 to A689 near Sedgefield in County Durham.
The pair then started the race, with the ferry tailgating Robinson, and they accelerated to 70 mph.
Prosecutor Nick Dry told Teesside Crown Court: “The two were so engrossed in each other that they couldn’t see Mr. Pattison on his bike that sunny day.”
Ferry tried to bite Robinson and ended up colliding with Graham, flying him 40 meters into the air.
Despite this, Ferry continued driving and later told police that he did not know that the collision had occurred – the judge rejected this claim. Robinson, however, stopped to try and help.
Graham was pronounced dead shortly after the accident – leaving behind his wife Victoria and their two children.
Robinson and Ferry both denied the charge of death by dangerous driving, but they were convicted after a trial, during which prosecutors said each defendant was equally guilty.
Robinson, who cried throughout the sentence, was jailed for seven years and nine months, while Ferry was sentenced to eight years because he did not stop at the scene.
Robinson’s defense attorney Martin Sharp told the court that the former Billingham care worker had deep regrets.
She said: ‘Her life has been a nightmare and she should take full responsibility for what she did.’
Ferry’s defense attorney Dan Corday said his client, an ex-Army officer at Redcar, had previously been of exemplary character, adding: ‘He is horrified, in his own words, and heartbroken about what happened. ‘
Judge Jonathan Carroll said to both of them: ‘I take into account both of your mitigations. I acknowledge that each of you is filled with deep remorse for the death of Mr. Pattison. But you put the blame on each other.’
He also banned the pair from driving – for their entire prison sentence so the ban covers any period of early release.
Victoria said she has lost her soul mate at 30 and a loving father to their two daughters.
In court she said: ‘This kind of harm does not discriminate, it can happen to anyone. Please remember that when you are behind the wheel of your car.’
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