The family of a Doncaster jogger killed by a hit-and-run driver addicted to heroin have hit out at his six-year jail term - but thanked police for helping put him behind bars.
Mark Heeley, who had been banned from driving previously 14 times, sped away from the scene of the fatality on a quiet country lane, but police arrested him less than an hour later despite his attempts at disguise.
Heeley, aged 38, still had a drugs syringe in his sock when he was detained in Edlington after returning to the cab of the tipper lorry in different clothes.
The widow of his victim, 52-year-old jogger Derek Lyon, today criticised the prison sentence.
June, aged 58, married to Derek for 20 years, said: “I just can’t believe the sentence. My husband has lost his life but Heeley will serve just three years for killing him with a seven-tonne truck - after being banned from driving so many times.
“He handed up a letter saying how sorry he was, and that he pleaded guilty to avoid putting us through a trial.
“He pleaded guilty to save his own skin.
“I had to have a look at him while he was stood in the dock. I knew I would never forgive myself if I didn’t take a look at the man who killed my husband. I got the impression he just didn’t care. “He could soon be back in the dock for killing somebody else. I really hope I’m wrong but I just can’t see him learning his lesson.”
The retired caterer added: “I haven’t just lost my husband, I’ve also lost my best mate.
“Derek was a quiet man with a very dry sense of humour but he was unbelievably popular. There were hundreds of people at his funeral.”
Derek, who worked all his life as a joiner, had no children of his own but helped to raise June’s three children from her previous marriage.
He was out jogging when the wing mirror of an Iveco lorry - bought earlier the same day on eBay, and which was overtaking another vehicle on Ruddle Lane, near Micklebring - clipped him on the back of the head, causing fatal injuries.
Fortunately the other driver was able to describe the lorry, and a patrol officer later spotted