Driver who raced friend through streets in high speed chase in Salford guilty of causing his death

James Dickson, 37, died after suffering a fatal head injury when he crashed. Credit: MEN Media

A driver who raced his friend through the streets at high speed has been found guilty of causing his death. 

James Dickson, 37, died after reaching speeds of more than 90mph in a 30mph zone before crashing into another car and some railings in Salford.

Craig Norman, who was driving a white Audi, had been pursuing Mr Dickson as the pair raced through Little Hulton on 19 June.

Norman was able to stop prior to the fatal collision and did not collide with Mr Dickson. He was charged with causing Mr Dickson's death by dangerous driving.

Prosecutors accused him of contributing to the crash by racing Mr Dickson.

Police at the scene of the crash in June. Credit: MEN Media

After a trial at Manchester Crown Court, Norman, 45, was found guilty of the charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.

Under a change to the law applied since the crash in June, drivers found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving now face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Prosecutors told how Norman and Mr Dickson were both driving along Manchester Road East towards Little Hulton at about 8.45pm on Sunday, 19 June.

Norman noticed his friend as they stopped at some traffic lights, and he began 'waving' at him but the pair began to argue.

A woman working at the nearby Stocks Hotel pub said she could then hear 'revving', and when the lights turned green the cars both 'sped off'. She said that the cars were 'clearly racing'.

Smith was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court on Thursday 12 October 2023. Credit: Steve Allen/PA

The pair sped down the road as other motorists were on the road. One driver behind the wheel of a Toyota Aygo was ahead of the Fiat and Audi on the same stretch.

He heard a 'loud bang' and felt his car being struck from behind. Mr Dickson died after suffering a fatal head injury when he crashed into the Aygo and some railings.

The front seat passenger in his car was thrown from the vehicle and suffered serious injuries but survived. Prior to the collision Mr Dickson had reached speeds of more than 90mph.

The Audi didn't collide with any other vehicles but Norman did not stop at the scene. At his trial, Norman, of Longshaw Drive, Little Hulton, denied he had been racing or that his driving had been dangerous.

"James drove the way he drove, I am not responsible for his actions," he said. "I was not racing. I am not responsible for James's death.

"It was a tragic accident. I am not at fault for it."

But a jury rejected his case and he was found guilty. He will be sentenced on Wednesday 7 December.

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