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CrimeDriver who fled road collision - then posed as bystander on foot...

Driver who fled road collision – then posed as bystander on foot – jailed

A motorist (pictured) who hit a grandma and caused her death by dangerous driving has been jailed.

Jack Knowles (34) of Ladies Lane, Hindley was sentenced on Friday at Bolton Crown Court on December 15, to one year, eight months behind bars and was disqualified from driving for 70 months.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and committing an act with intent to pervert the course of public justice.

Shortly after 9.40pm on November 5, 2021, Katherine West (59) was crossing Ladies Lane, close to the junction with Haworth Street.

Katherine West Picture 1.jpgThe grandma (pictured left) reached the hatched markings in the centre of the carriageway, where one car slowed allowing her to cross.

At the same time Knowles entered Ladies Lane from the roundabout with Bridge Street. His car collided with Katherine and while he briefly stopped, he quickly left the scene without checking on her.

In the days following the collision, Knowles arranged to have his vehicle repaired, with the intention of hiding any evidence that he had been involved. After an investigation, he was arrested and charged the following year.

Katherine died in hospital from her injuries, on 16 December 2021.

Tribute to Katherine

Following sentencing, Katherine’s family said: “It has taken over two years, but finally our family have received justice for Kath, a wonderful wife, mother, nana and friend, who was killed after being hit by a car.

“The driver failed to stop and went to great lengths to cover up what he had done. We as a family will never forgive him for his actions then and the actions since.

“Kath was a wonderful caring, compassionate and lovable human being, she always looked for the good in everyone. She loved to see people happy and enjoying themselves, she was loved and respected by everyone she touched, and we miss her dearly.

“We are so proud of our amazing family who have dealt with their emotions and feelings with dignity and respect throughout this case and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those many people involved throughout this ordeal, especially, the Northwest Ambulance Service who attended quickly, the many doctors and nurses from Salford Royal Hospital who nursed Kath, the off duty ambulance driver who came to our aid, the police, our family liaison officer PC Heap, and lead investigating officer PC Drummond and their team, for their tireless pursuit of justice, and their constant care of us during the investigation.

“We would also like to thank friends and neighbours for their constant support, throughout this traumatic ordeal which in fact is not yet and never will be over for us but at least know we get to grieve.”

“Deplorable” actions

PC Philip Drummond, from GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said “Being bonfire night, it was busy with traffic and pedestrians, enjoying the festivities locally.

“Katherine was crossing Ladies Lane when she was struck by Knowles’ car, throwing her into the air. He hadn’t been paying attention to the road ahead.

“After the crash, despite knowing he had hit a pedestrian and with no consideration for their condition, Knowles chose to drive away – yet returned on foot, posing as a bystander rather than identifying himself as the driver. While others went to Katherine’s aid, he did nothing to help her – his only thought was to destroy evidence connecting him to the offences, by arranging for his vehicle to be repaired – he then went on holiday.

“Knowles’ driving that day was careless. However, his actions after were deplorable.  Rather than admitting his involvement, he put his victim’s family through two years of unnecessary anguish.  He has finally been brought to justice and while it will never make up for their loss, I hope that it brings Katherine’s family some level of closure.

“I hope this serves as a reminder to those who continue to endanger the public – we will continue to bring you to justice.”

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