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Tenby man found guilty of killing Gavin Collier jailed for four years

Nathan Morris, a rally enthusiast who killed the man interested in buying his car by showing off during a test drive has been jailed for four years.

Morris, 24, was convicted by a jury at Swansea crown court of causing the death of Gavin Collier, aged 20, by dangerous driving. He had denied the charge.

The jury heard how Morris had been trying to sell his Peugeot 106 Rallye. Mr Collier, from Neath, responded to his advert and on February 17 last year Morris took him for a test drive.

Mr Collier had driven at first but after he revealed that he was not insured Morris, a mechanical engineering student, took the wheel.

On the A4139 Penally bypass he reached speeds of up to 75 mph–the limit was 50mph– and lost control.

Jim Davis, representing Morris, said today he was genuinely remorseful for the consequences of a brief period of bad driving.

He said he accepted that Morris should have been aware that the Peugeot had a defective shock absorber which would have affected the stability of the vehicle.

Morris had been badly injured in the accident and had been airlifted to hospital.

Judge John Diehl said the absorber fault would have taken time to develop and would have been noticed when cornering.

Judge John Diehl(corr) QC told him: “You were travelling at a grossly excessive speed and had a defect which was going to make it difficult to control your vehicle at speed.

“Witnesses described the vehicle as screeching off then moving quickly through the gears. They said it was flying down the road.

“Your vehicle went across the road resulting in a sickening impact with a parked Isuzu Trooper.

“That impact led to the untimely and needless death of Gavin Collier.”

A victim impact statement from Gavin’s father Jonathan said: “The loss of Gavin has had a devastating effect on me and my family.

“Gavin was someone who will be sorely and sadly missed.”

Outside court, Gavin’s father Jonathan said: “He loved life but had his whole future cruelly snatched away from him by the reckless and irresponsible actions of Nathan Morris.

“While nothing will ever bring Gavin back, his family hopes his death has not been entirely in vain.

“We hope it will act as a warning to others of the tragic consequences that can result from dangerous and irresponsible driving.”

In a victim statement from Mr Jonathan Collier, Gavin’s father that was read out in court Mr Collier, said:

“As a direct result of Gavin’s death several family members have suffered from health problems and sadly Gavin’s grandmother died suddenly in January this year. The funeral was held just a week before the court case.

“When Gavin was aged only 13, his mother died from a brain tumour, which made him realise how precious life is.

“He loved life and lived it to the full. He had many interests including cycling, bodybuilding, boxing and of course he loved cars among other interests.

“Gavin’s loss before his 21st birthday has had a devastating effect on me and my family and the trauma caused by Mr Morris’ actions cannot be overstated. Gavin was much loved and will be forever sorely missed.”

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