Two men have been jailed for the murder of a father-of-four, who was killed by a car while riding a bike.
Brandon Ali and Joey Matthews, who are both 21, were sentenced on Friday 26 August after being found guilty of the murder of Carl Eland, from Middlesbrough.
The father-of-four was cycling in Homerton Road, Pallister Park, on 21 August last year when a Vauxhall Insignia ploughed into him from behind.
The 37-year-old, who was a convicted drug dealer, died a few days later in hospital as a result of his injuries. His girlfriend Kassi, who was sitting on the handlebars of the bike at the time of the incident, suffered minor injuries.
Ali, of Dalwood Court in Hemlington, and Matthews, of Newcomen Green, Longlands, were sentenced to life with a minimum term of 21 years at Teesside Crown Court on Friday 26 August.
Ali and Matthews, who supplied crack cocaine in North Ormesby, were found guilty this week at Teesside Crown Court of murder after denying they were in the white Vauxhall Insignia.
Matthews and Ali declined to give evidence at their trial.
Following the hearing, Carl Eland’s mother, Leona, said: “As a family we are devastated and as a mother I feel lost. My heart and soul are completely broken.
“My son was murdered and my best friend was taken away from me forever. I will never see my only beautiful son again.
“The only life I have now is that of my grandchildren and they are so important to me. I don’t know how they will cope without their dad and the fact they will never be able to see or hear him ever again.
“Carl’s girlfriend Kassi can’t move forward in any way, she just feels so lost without him.
“When Carl passed away not only did he save Kassi’s life that night but he then went on to be an organ donor and saved three more.
"I’m so proud of my son in every way possible and we always looked out for each other.
“Carl was kind, loving, funny and very generous to everyone. He had a heart of gold and was so very proud of his children. He loved his family and friends. He cared about all animals and his dogs were his passion.
“I’m going to miss his smile and the chats we used to have. Carl was my only chance for happiness and this was taken from me.
“The sentence today brings me and my family some form of closure but no sentence will ever bring my son back."
Iain Pearson, Temporary Detective Inspector, from Cleveland Police said: “While nothing can sadly bring Carl Eland back, we hope that today helps the family to move forward with their lives.
"Carl’s family and friends have shown tremendous strength and resilience throughout the whole investigative and judicial process.
"Their pain and suffering has been unnecessarily prolonged through the lies and deceit told by Joey Matthews and Brandon Ali, yet despite this those close to Carl have composed themselves respectfully.
“This outcome would not have been possible without information or support from the community and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for assisting us with our investigation.
"Information from members of the public is key in any investigation and anyone who does come forward with information to assist can be assured that they will be thoroughly supported by specially trained officers throughout any process.
“Cleveland Police detectives and staff from the homicide and major enquiry team are extremely committed to their work and it has been a privilege to witness their devotion in getting this result for Carl’s family and friends, for Kassi and the local community.”
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