Banned driver killed best friend in 104mph Range Rover crash in East Yorkshire

Joshua Hawksworth/Connor Machon
Joshua Hawksworth continued to drive even after killing Connor Machon. Credit: Humberside Police

A banned driver who travelled at "breathtakingly fast speeds" in his girlfriend's Range Rover before killing his best friend in a crash has been jailed.

Joshua Hawksworth treated the road as his "own private racetrack" before he lost control on a bend while travelling at about 104mph, a court heard.

The crash killed 23-year-old passenger, Connor Machon. Hawksworth, who was badly injured, had two previous convictions for dangerous driving and was caught driving while disqualified even after the fatal crash, Hull Crown Court heard.

The 32-year-old admitted causing Mr Machon's death by dangerous driving on 24 July last year.

James Lake, prosecuting, said Hawksworth was driving his girlfriend's black Range Rover Evoque on a straight section of the B1253 at Langtoft, north of Driffield, East Yorkshire, before he lost control on a slight right-hand bend.

The car hit a tree. Mr Machon, the front-seat passenger, died at the scene.

Hawksworth, who was cut free from the wreckage, suffered injuries including a smashed elbow and jaw, a broken collarbone, ankle and ribs.

"The defendant was taking that bend as fast as he possibly could," Mr Lake said.

Hawksworth later denied driving too quickly but admitted spending a lot of time on racetracks. He had low traces of cannabis and two non-prescribed drugs, including Tramadol, in his system.

"This was a deliberate decision by the defendant to ignore the rules of the road," Mr Lake added. "He was a disqualified driver at the time of the offence and he has an appalling record in respect of driving."

'You think the laws don't apply to you'

Hawksworth's girlfriend initially told police he took her car without consent but later admitted she had given him permission to use it, despite knowing he was banned.

Hawksworth was on licence at the time after a previous prison sentence and he was on bail for a suspected theft from July 15 last year. He had convictions for 20 previous offences, including dishonesty and violence, and a significant number for driving matters, including taking a vehicle without consent and having no insurance in May 2013.

He was jailed for two years and eight months in November 2020 for offences including driving while disqualified.

Richard Butters, mitigating, said: "He is devastated by what he did on that particular night. He is devastated that he drove in such an incredibly dangerous manner and he is devastated that, because of his own actions, he has killed his best friend."Judge Mark Bury told Hawksworth: "You were driving wildly in excess of the speed limit, which at that stage was 60mph."

He added: "If you were indeed devastated by what happened, you would have been nowhere near a car. You seem to think that the rules of the road don't apply to you and you can drive when you want at the speed you want.

"You used the road as your own private racetrack and drove at breathtakingly fast speeds.

"You took a deliberate decision to ignore the rules of the road. You think that the laws relating to driving don't apply to you.

"You were disqualified from driving and should not have been behind the wheel. You just haven't learned your lesson. I hope you are going to learn it now."

Hawksworth, of Trinity Road, Bridlington, was jailed for 12 years and banned from driving for 10 years.

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