Drug-driver admits running down Leeds academic while fleeing police

A drug-using driver today admitted causing the death of a respected Leeds academic who was killed after being struck by a car which was being pursued by police.

Dr Andrew Platten

Members of Andrew Platten’s family were in court to see 22-year-old Akash Rashid plead guilty to causing the 55-year-old’s death by dangerous driving on Cottingley Cliffe Road in Bingley last July.

Dr Platten, who worked at Leeds Beckett University, died at the scene of the collision with a Vauxhall Vectra which was being driven by Rashid while he was uninsured and unlicensed.

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Rashid, of Brantwood Grove, Bradford, also admitted driving Vectra while unfit through drugs on July 19.

Judge David Hatton QC told Rashid that his case was being adjourned until February 15, but he said the defendant faced an inevitable prison sentence.

Rashid was granted bail with conditions of residence and reporting to the police each Friday lunchtime and Judge Hatton also imposed an interim driving ban.

In a statement released following his death Dr Platten’s family said: “Andrew excelled as a respected and dedicated academic, with a love for art, poetry and music. For anyone that knew him, cycling was his true passion as he became a recognised competitive rider on the roads.  

“Most importantly he was a loved friend, loyal brother and uncle, loving partner and a truly inspirational father. He will be deeply missed, but he has left his stamp on all who met him.

“He will always be cherished and never forgotten, living on in all our hearts.”