Cumbria

Wigton dangerous driver who clocked 118mph jailed

Liam Jon Dixon
Image caption Liam Dixon said he "honestly didn't know" what speed he was doing

A driver who hit speeds of almost 120mph in a modified car he had bought weeks earlier has been jailed.

Liam Dixon was cleared of causing the death by dangerous driving of his friend Steven Parker on the A596 near Wigton in February 2018.

But the 27-year-old admitted dangerous driving and has been jailed for 16 months at Carlisle Crown Court.

A judge said Dixon had risked injury to himself, passengers or other road users with his driving.

During the trial jurors heard a police investigator concluded Dixon hit "118mph as probably a minimum" in a newly-purchased Vauxhall Corsa.

It had been fitted by a previous owner with a two-litre Saab engine - replacing a standard 1,200cc engine - along with upgraded suspension and brakes.

Mr Parker, with whom he shared an interest in powerful cars, was travelling closely behind in his BMW when he lost control, spun off the road, and struck two trees, suffering fatal injuries.

Dixon, of Throstle Avenue, Wigton, denied braking while Mr Parker's vehicle was close behind him, and refuted the prosecution's allegation they were engaged in a "high-speed duel" or "face-off".

He told the court he had "put his foot down", adding: "I honestly didn't know what speed I was doing."

Sentencing, Recorder Michael Duck QC said: "It is absolutely plain that anybody who drives in this manner drives dangerously and risks injury to themselves, their passengers or indeed any other road users."

He also ordered Dixon to serve a two-year driving ban when released and pass an extended re-test.

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