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Family begs for mercy for son's drink-drive pal

Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

A motorcyclist who was over the drink-drive limit when he crashed and his best friend was killed has been cleared of causing death by careless driving.

Ross Humphreys was convicted of driving with excess alcohol and fined £1,000 with £500 costs. He was banned from driving for three years.

The judge asked for a moving statement from the father of victim Arran Nadal, in which he pleaded for 30-year-old Humphreys to be spared a jail sentence, to be read out.

"As Christians, we beg from the bottom of our hearts not to give him a prison sentence, but to pardon Ross and allow him home to his family," said retired fireman John Nadal.

Maidstone Crown Court heard how Humphreys, of Bazes Shaw, New Ash Green, was calculated to have been almost twice the legal drink-drive limit when he lost control of his Honda 600cc bike and smashed into trees.

Mr Nadal, unlike Humphreys, was not wearing a helmet and died from head injuries.

A police officer in a marked dog van had spotted that Mr Nadal was not wearing a helmet and followed the motorcycle just after 11.30pm on May 6 last year.

Despite activating the siren and blue lights, Humphreys did not stop and turned from Main Road in Longfield into New Barn Road.

After turning into Hartley Bottom Road, out of sight of the police van, Humphreys lost control of the bike.

The dog handler came around a bend to see the Honda on its side with both riders lying in the road. Humphreys was also injured in the accident.

Prosecutor Paul Valder said Humphreys smelled strongly of alcohol and later gave a sample of urine while in hospital.

The level of alcohol then, almost six hours after the accident, was 69 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine. The legal limit is 107 milligrams.

Experts back-calculated the reading to the time of the accident as being between 140 and 250 milligrams.

Humphreys denied causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink.

He told police he had been drinking earlier in the day but by the time he drove he believed he was below the limit.

He said he felt the back wheel go over some debris in the road. He thought Arran lost his balance, causing the bike to veer into the offside hedge.

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