A drink driver who told police his van had been stolen after killing a dad in a hit and run has been jailed for over eight years.
William Stallard was driving a white van at 50mph on a 30mph road when he collided with Michael Waistell, who was riding his mountain bike.
Teesside Crown Court heard how he drove away and left the 58-year-old lying injured on Mowbray Road in Hartlepool.
Richard Bennett, prosecuting, told the court: ‘No attempt was made by the driver to stop and check on the casualty.
‘The collision would have been obvious, yet the driver continued to drive off.
‘Having fatally injured Mr. Waistell, the defendant then drove his van for a further 0.8 miles through residential streets.’
William Stallard who told police his van was stolen after killing a father in a hit and run in Hartlepool has been jailed for more than eight years and banned from driving for 10 years
Mr Bennett told the court in Middlesbrough how Stallard pulled over and asked a woman to borrow her phone.
He said Stallard contacted 101 and told officers that his van had been stolen prior to the incident.
Mr Bennett said: ‘Shortly afterwards, police officers arrived outside of her property to speak to the defendant.
‘He had called the police and lied to them about his van, claiming it had been stolen.
‘It is inconceivable that he did not know he had been involved in a serious and life-threatening collision with a cyclist.
‘The lie he told the operator on 101 and his attempt to evade justice for the death of Mr. Waistell would persist throughout his interviews that day.’
Mr Bennett told the court how a witness saw Mr Waistell veer slightly to the right to try and avoid a collision with the van, but was unable to do so.
He said the witness thought that Stallard was also going to hit him and his dog, after mounting the curb, but he returned to the road.
Mr Bennett said: ‘The noise of the collision and the sound of the van had roused a number of people and very shortly thereafter, a number of people gathered to see if they could provide assistance.
‘It was clear that Mr. Waistell had suffered catastrophic and unsurvivable injury and that the collision had killed him instantly.’
The court heard how Stallard provided an alcohol reading of 52 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.
He also tested positive for the use of cocaine.
The court heard how Mr Waistell was a carer for his wife, who suffers from a number of health problems.
He was due to become a grandfather for the first time but did not get the opportunity to meet his grandson.
Stallard, who appeared in court via videolink to Durham prison, sobbed as Mr Waistell’s daughter Laura read out her victim impact statement.
She told the court: ‘Now my mum sits at night and asks me how are we going to live without him? And I really don’t have the answers that will give her much comfort.
Michael Waistell was riding his mountain bike when he was hit by Stallard and died on scene
‘Even though I’m their daughter, I can’t replace my mum’s life partner.
‘We, as a family, will never get over what has happened to my dad although we have been shown so much love and support.
‘What hurts the most is the fact that he was just left alone to die.
‘When the police told us what the driver did, we couldn’t quite comprehend that someone could do that to another human being.
‘He selfishly tried to blame someone else so he could get away with it. This shows he has little respect, not only for my dad, but for all others around him.’
She told Stallard: ‘You are a coward who was full of alcohol and drugs. You knew you seriously hurt my dad but you left him to die and you will have to live with that for the rest of your life.
‘I hope to God your children will never have to go through what we have experienced. This will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
‘Your selfish actions since being reprimanded by denying what you’ve done initially, dragging your heels and not admitting to it for so long has not only wasted a lot of people’s time but also prolonged justice for our father’s death.
‘My dad deserves justice and we pray that he is able to get it so he can rest in peace and we as a family can try and move forward.’
Stallard, of Moffatt Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, perverting the course of public justice and driving a motor vehicle while above the prescribed limit.
Stephen Constantine, defending, told the court: ‘He made a very wrong and bad decision – he left the scene.’
Mr Constantine told he could that there was nothing which Laura Waistell said about Stallard’s cowardly actions which he could disagree with.
He told the court that Stallard had come to terms with his actions while in prison.
Mr Constantine added: ‘Your honour knows he has written a letter to the family.
‘He too has a partner and two young children so he’s cost two families.’
Judge Howard Crowson told Stallard that his only concern was for himself.
Stallard was drunk and high on cocaine when driving and was jailed at Teeside Crown Court
He said: ‘The selfishness of your driving was only matched by the selfishness of your behaviour after the event.
‘You caused the collision. Your driving put yourself in a position where neither of you could avoid the collision.
‘He was blameless and you were entirely to blame.’
Judge Crowson sentenced Stallard to eight years and four months behind bars.
He also banned him from driving for 10 years and five months.
Stallard must take an extended driving test before he gets behind the wheel again.