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Dangerous driver has prison sentence extended

Dangerous driver who killed another motorist before fleeing the scene has prison term increased after sentence was referred under Unduly Lenient Sentencing scheme

John Frazer Yates (28), of no fixed abode, has had his original prison term quashed and will now serve 11 years and three months in jail after the Court of Appeal determined his initial sentence was unduly lenient.

The court heard that at just after midnight on 15 November 2022, Yates was travelling northbound on the M6 motorway, between junction 20 and 21.

Temporary roadworks, which had a speed limit of 50 mph, forced Yates to move into a single lane of traffic. But due to the excessive speed Yates was travelling at, which experts calculated to be 128 mph, he collided with a vehicle driven by a third party before hitting Christopher Smith’s car.

Yates got out of his car and fled the scene, leaving his victim for dead. He was arrested several hours later and refused to provide his details or a breath sample. Once Yates was taken to the hospital, he failed to provide a blood sample.

The Solicitor General, Michael Tomlinson KC MP, said:

John Frazer Yates was travelling at dangerously excessive speeds and through his reckless actions caused the tragic death of another motorist. The offence was aggravated by him callously fleeing the scene not thinking he would be picked up by the CCTV cameras.

I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to Christopher Smith’s family and I welcome the court’s decision to extend Yates’ sentence in what were truly tragic circumstances.

Yates pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and failing to provide a sample. He was sentenced to eight years and three months at Chester Crown Court on 20 January 2023. Yates was also banned from driving for 12-and-a-half years.

His sentence was referred to the Court of Appeal for being unduly lenient and on Thursday 20 April, the court increased Yates sentence to 11 years and three months.


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