Jail for drunk driver who killed Sheffield student in hit-and-run horror crash

A drunk driver, who killed a 24-year-old student in a Sheffield horror crash before fleeing the scene at speed and driving down the wrong side of the road, has been sent to prison.

The scene in Crookes Valley Road following the collision
The scene in Crookes Valley Road following the collision

Judge Paul Watson QC sentenced Shane McGrory, of Castlebeck Road, Castlebeck to nine years in prison at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday morning for a string of charges relating to the crash in Crookes Valley Road on October 19, 2015.

The court was told how in the moments running up to the collision McGrory's driving was so erratic that it gave several pedestrians and drivers cause for concern, so much so that one even phoned the police.

One witness, Paul Clayton, watched McGrory, aged 31, approach the University Square roundabout, and saw him fail to pause at the give-way line, instead accelerating directly on to the roundabout.

After leaving the roundabout dangerously in his Y-registration Transit van, McGrory then made his way onto Crookes Valley Road where shortly afterwards he collided with cyclist Robert Henry who died at the scene from his injuries at around 9.15pm.

Prosecuting, Jonathan Sharp, told the court how McGrory later admitted to seeing Mr Henry prior to the collision taking place.

Mr Sharp said: "The defendant has admitted to the author of the pre-sentence report that he saw the victim on his bike and went to overtake him, but failed to leave enough room.

"He was fully aware that he had hit the victim, and thought it was serious, but states that he panicked and did not know what to do so drove towards his partner's house. He tells me he was afraid of what he might see should he stop and feared being scarred for life."

Mr Henry, who achieved a first class undergraduate degree at the University of Sheffield (UoS), had returned to the city three weeks prior to the crash taking place to begin a Masters degree in architecture at UoS.

In a heartbreaking victim impact statement read out in court, Mr Henry's mother Andrea described her son as a man with a 'happy, genuine personality' who had a life full of opportunities taken away from him by McGrory.

She said: "Because of what you did that night I am tormented by images and memories of Robert's pain. You've shattered my family and changed my life's journey forever.

"My heart's broken. Every morning I feel sick as reality kicks in as I know I will never see Robert again."

Mr Sharp told the court how following the crash, McGrory fled the scene at speed 'accelerating away on the wrong side of the road for a significant period before swerving to the nearside and again to the offside'.

He began travelling towards his ex-partner's home in Liberty Drive but got lost at a cul-de-sac at the end of Providence Road, and while attempting to reverse out of it he crashed into three parked cars, causing £2,860 worth of damage.

McGrory was located by police at his mother's address at 11.20pm that evening, after which time he was taken to the police station and asked to give two samples of breath.

He gave the first one, but refused to give a second, and became abusive and exposed himself when officers continued to ask him for another sample.

The first sample showed he had consumed almost three times the legal amount of alcohol.

McGrory admitted to a string of charges including causing death by careless driving and failure to provide a specimen at an earlier hearing.

Sentencting McGrory, Judge Watson QC said: "Robert Henry was a man in his early 20s, a young man of great promise and potential.

"A young man for whom his life was before him to realise his many ambitions and reap the benefits of his hard work before that night when that life was cruelly taken away from him because of what you did."