Driver faces custody over rugby star's death

A MAN has admitted causing the death by dangerous driving of a rugby club team-mate in a car crash.

Charles William Tosh, 20, pleaded guilty at Leeds Crown Court yesterday to causing the death of Featherstone Rovers first team member Gareth Swift, 19, by driving dangerously on the A655 Black Road, Normanton, Wakefield on April 24 last year.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC agreed to adjourn the case for a pre-sentence report but told Tosh while he would be given credit for his plea, a custodial sentence was inevitable.

He imposed an interim disqualification on Tosh, a reserve team player, of Chequerfield Drive, Pontefract, who was also severely injured when his vehicle crashed off the road and ended up on its roof.

Mr Swift, of Wheatley Avenue, Normanton, his passenger, was a student and talented semi-professional rugby player. Members of his family were in court for the case.

Team mates dedicated their season to him last year after the tragedy.

A hooker and first team squad member, he had been out of the game with a broken leg but was back in training and on the verge or returning to the first team when the tragedy happened.

Having started his rugby career at Normanton Knights ARLFC he was considered to have a promising career ahead of him

At his funeral held at St John the Baptist Church, Normanton last May hundreds of mourners paid their respects.

Rovers' head coach Daryl Powell said Gareth was tough, strong and enthusiastic player and an exceptional leader.

"He was the life and soul of the party at the club and everybody loved his company," he added.

"It was a pleasure to know him and I know he will live in the hearts and minds of everybody who knew him."

Tosh was bailed with a condition to co-operate with the Probation Service in the preparation of the report.

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