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New dad Junel Miah, 28, receives four year sentence for killing Danyl Ponsford in Somerset Road, Ashford

The man who killed a popular manager of an Ashford games shop by driving at more than twice the speed limit has been jailed for four years today.

But the tragedy of the death of much-loved Danyl Ponsford was captured in a poignant letter written by one his brother’s girlfriends.

She told the judge that whatever the sentence: “It cannot bring Danyl home”.

Danyl Ponsford, killed in a crash in Ashford
Danyl Ponsford, killed in a crash in Ashford

The 26-year-old manager of Ashford’s Xpress Games was killed when he was collecting pizza from a take-away on the A292 Ashford ring road in September 2013 at 11pm.

As his vehicle performed “an unwise” ‘U’ turn across four lanes to head home, it was struck by a VW Golf driven by new dad Junel Miah.

The judge told Miah: “You didn’t intend any harm to come to Mr Ponsford whatsoever. But you chose to test drive a car at a ridiculously excessive speed.”

Canterbury Crown Court heard how the 28-year-old had been testing the vehicle before buying it and was putting the car “through its gears”.

Junel Miah received a four year jail sentence
Junel Miah received a four year jail sentence

But Judge James O’Mahony heard that the VW was doing about 76 mph on the 30 mph road when it hit Mr Ponsford’s car.

Lawyers for Miah had argued that Mr Ponsford's manner of driving had contributed to the accident.

But the judge said that Miah’s speed meant he had no chance of avoiding the crash – and he had already had convictions for using a mobile phone while driving on three previous occasions.

Judge O’Mahony added: “This was a residential road even though it was late at night and there were some cars and pedestrians around, including a runner and a cyclist.

Danyl worked as the manager of Xpress Game in Ashford
Danyl worked as the manager of Xpress Game in Ashford

“You chose to test drive that car, putting it through the gears. All drivers are expected to allow for the unexpected and by the speed you drove at you gave yourself no chance.

“The fact that also on three separate occasions in the past you have been found using a mobile phone while at the wheel shows a serious lack of regard for pedestrians and drivers alike.”

The judge later praised Mr Ponsford’s family for the “enormous dignity” they had showed during the trial.

Tributes for Danyl were left at the scene of the crash
Tributes for Danyl were left at the scene of the crash

He added: “Danyl came from a large happy family. He was a much loved and loving man.

"He was funny and good company. He was also hard-working and loved his sport and was a respected captain of his football team.”

After a jury had convicted Miah of causing death by driving dangerously, his lawyer, David Martin-Sperry said he had been approached by Mr Ponsford’s mother.

“She asked me when I was next going to see my client.I said I was expecting to in 10 or 20 minutes and she said: ‘I would very much like you to tell him that we wish him well,’

Judge James O' Mahony
Judge James O' Mahony

“I would like to pay respect for the immense dignity shown by the deceased’s family.”

He added: “Miah is a hard-working man, a very nice person. In truth had he had a cup of coffee that night and came along this road a minute or two later the accident wouldn’t have happened.

Miah was also banned from driving for three years – and under new regulations that ban will now only begin after he has been released from his jail sentence.

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