Family of tragic Sheffield United fan forced to leave courtroom during fatal crash footage

A ‘cowardly’ killer driver who drove off after mowing down a teenage Sheffield United fan as he crossed a road has been jailed.

Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 8:35 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 8:35 am

Mitchel Hughes, aged 25, sped off after killing 15-year-old Ryan Durkin while speeding in a stolen car.

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Jailing him at Sheffield Crown Court, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC said Hughes had acted in a ‘comprehensively deplorable’ way.

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Ryan Durkin was killed as he crossed a road in Brinsworth, Rotherham

Shocking footage was shown of the moment Ryan was hit by the silver BMW driven by Hughes as the teenager crossed a road in Brinsworth with friends in April last year.

The car, which had false number plates, then sped off without stopping as Sheffield United fan Ryan was also hit by second car.

Ryan was a Sheffield United fan and his coffin featured his beloved club's badge

Sentencing Hughes to six years and seven months in prison, Judge Richardson said he had never held a driving licence and had ‘no regard whatsoever for the laws of this country’.

He said Hughes ‘made almost no endeavour to stop’ before colliding with Ryan and ‘unimpaired by any scruples whatsoever, cowardly drove off afterwards’.

Accident investigators found that the BMW was travelling at between 48 and 60mph in the 30 limit at the time , although a witness estimated the speed at around 80 or 90mph.

The judge told Hughes: "Your behaviour was comprehensively deplorable."

A sea of floral tributes was left at the crash scene

Judge Richardson declined to read out the list of Ryan's "grievous" injuries in court, and some members of the teenager's family left the courtroom before the video footage was played.

The judge said Ryan's death was an ‘unparalleled catastrophe’ for his family whose lives ‘have been ruined forever’.

He heard how, when police arrived at Hughes' flat to arrest him, he had been apparently drinking and taking drugs, threatening to jump off a balcony as refused to let officers in.

Hughes, of Lapwater Road, Wingfield, Rotherham, admitted causing death by dangerous driving at a previous hearing and was given a five-and-a-half year prison sentence and banned from driving for 12 years.

He was given a further 12 months for perverting the course of justice following an unrelated incident in which he gave the details of someone else when he was stopped in a car with false plates.

Hughes, who has 16 convictions involving 23 separate offences recorded against him, was also jailed for an additional month after a suspended sentence was triggered.

It had been imposed three days before the crash for possessing a mobile phone in prison.

Before the sentencing hearing, Judge Richardson ordered some members of the public to leave the public gallery for failing to abide by the strict social-distancing measures in place in court.

The judge told them: "I'm not having people spread pestilence in this building. Get out."