Learner driver jailed for killing best friend by careless driving

Jake Hardy
Jake Hardy
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An uninsured driver caused the death of his best friend after crashing while speeding, Lincoln Crown Court was told today (Tuesday, April 18).

Jake Hardy, who only held a provisional driving licence, was behind the wheel of a Ford Mondeo which his friend Jason Akrill had bought just hours earlier when the vehicle when the collision occurred on a bend on the A631 near Gainsborough.

Stephen Kemp, prosecuting, said an eye witness estimated Hardy was driving at 90 mph in the moments leading up to the incident with Mr Akrill in the front passenger seat.

Mr Kemp said: “As the Mondeo approached the bend the witness saw the brake lights come on.

“He saw the car twitch to the right and then to the left. The vehicle began to spin. It came to a halt on its side resting against a tree.”

Both Mr Akrill and Hardy had to be cut free from the vehicle.

Paramedics attempted to resuscitate Mr Akrill but he passed away.

Hardy himself suffered serious injuries including fractures to his pelvis, collarbone, ribs and thumb. He subsequently spent five months in a wheelchair and is awaiting an operation as a result of a dislocated knee he suffered.

Afterwards Hardy gave a negative roadside breath test for alcohol but refused to allow blood samples to be taken in hospital. He was unable to recall anything about the incident.

The court was told that an accident investigator put the speed of the Mondeo at between 67 and 87 mph at the time of the collision. A check revealed the Mondeo had damage to the front offside suspension which may have occurred before the collision.

Mr Kemp said that Mr Akrill bought the car earlier the same day in Grimsby and drove it back to Gainsborough. He was not insured and did not have a full driving licence.

Hardy, 27, formerly of Wellington Street, Gainsborough, who is currently a serving prisoner, admitted charge of causing death by careless driving on January 9, 2014, while under the influence of drink and drugs in that he failed to provide a specimen when required to do so. He also admitted associated charges of causing death by careless driving whilst driving otherwise in accordance with his licence and whilst uninsured.

He was jailed for 32 months and banned from driving for three years and four months. His prison sentence is to run consecutively with a sentence of four years and three months he received last month at Nottingham Crown Court for a post office robbery and aggravated vehicle taking in Walkeringham.

Caroline Bradley, for Hardy, told the court: “He describes Mr Akrill as the best friend he ever had and one he won’t be able to be replaced.

“He misses Mr Akrill enormously. He is devastated that he is in part responsible for his death.”

Miss Bradley said Hardy has since suffered nightmares and flashbacks as a result of what happened.

She said Hardy’s girlfriend is standing by him and when released he will have the opportunity to put his offending behind him.