‘Our world has been torn apart,’ the niece of a beloved South Yorkshire man said, as the speeding driver who killed him was jailed for four years.
CCTV analysis carried out by the police revealed that Joshua Mewes was travelling at 65 mph - over double the speed limit - when he hit 64-year-old pedestrian, Robert Kolt, as he was crossing Doncaster Road, Dalton, near Rotherham at around 8.20pm on March 18 last year.
Prosecutor, Ian Goldsack, told Sheffield Crown Court how Mr Kolt, 64, had just got off a bus when he was struck by Mewes' speeding vehicle, causing him to be thrown into the air. The great grandfather was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Mewes, now aged 21, drove 180 metres away from the scene of the crash before stopping his red Honda Civic vehicle, which is thought to have been damaged so badly in the collision it was no longer safe to drive.
Mr Kolt’s niece, Jade, cried as she bravely read her victim personal statement to the court, through which she described how she, and other members of her family, first heard news of the crash on Facebook, before receiving the devastating news it was their relative who had been killed.
“I felt bad about seeing the details on Facebook, and I couldn't get it out of my head that it was my uncle who had been knocked down by a speedy driver. Left on his own, with no family or friends near him," said Jade, adding: "At 8.20pm on March 18, 2017, mine and my family's lives were changed forever. Our world has been torn apart."
Various witnesses described the 'aggressive' nature of Mewes' driving, with one person suggesting he was driving like 'a bat out of hell,' and another saying they heard Mewes repeatedly revving his engine on the 30mph road.
Mr Goldsack told the court how members of Mr Kolt's family sent the police screenshots of Facebook posts Mewes had made both before and after the fatal collision, in which he bragged about the 'aggressive' and 'speedy' nature of his driving.
In mitigation, Andrea Parnham told the court that Mewes was seen as the 'strong character' of his social group and that the Facebook posts concerning his driving were just part of the image he was attempting to 'portray to the world'.
This was rejected by the Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, who said: "These [posts] reveal you to be a man who likes to speed and drive aggressively. Who takes pride in all of this. You posted these entries before and after you killed Mr Kolt. Your insensitivity defies understanding."
Mewes, of Highfield Park, Maltby, Rotherham pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.
Ms Parnham asked Judge Richardson to consider Mewes' early guilty plea and the fact he committed the offence when he was only 20-years-old when passing sentence.
Judge Richardson jailed Mewes for four years, and banned him from driving for nine years, after which time he will be required to take an extended driving test.
Judge Richardson told Mewes: "It must be made very clear to this defendant and others like him, that those who drive far too fast and habitually engage in egregious, arrogant and aggressive driving will be punished very hard by the courts."
He added: "The inevitable sentence of imprisonment doesn't seek to reflect or value the life of the man killed by this deplorable driving."
* South Yorkshire Police have been asked to provide a custody image of Mewes