'Despite the verdict, the hard fact is nothing will ever bring him back and that is just heart-breaking' - parents speak after death by dangerous driving sentencing

Court news
Court news

The parents of a much loved pharmacist from Cambridgeshire have spoken of their grief as the driver responsible was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving at Cambridge Crown Court.

Dishant Patel, 25 from Longstanton, was travelling as a rear seated passenger along the B1050 towards Longstanton from the A14 at Bar Hill on Saturday April 23, 2016, when the accident happened. He was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, and died in theatre in the early hours of the morning on April 24.

On Friday, Jignesh Patel, 27 from Wellingborough was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

Yesterday, his best friend Jignesh Patel was sentenced to three years, half of which will be served in custody and half will be on licence. He has also been disqualified from driving for three and a half years.

Following the crash, Dishant’s parents, Sangita and Shailesh Patel, instructed fatal accident specialist solicitors at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the crash and to support them through the proceedings.

Neil Whiteley, the serious injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell representing Dishant’s parents, said: “Dishant’s death was extremely tragic and has been felt by a lot of people as he was very well regarded.

“As this trial has shown, the consequences of dangerous driving can be fatal and devastating. We will continue to work with Sangita and Shailesh to ensure they receive the support they need.”

The trial heard that the vehicle Dishant was travelling in entered a right-hand bend and lost control, causing it to leave the road and roll into a nearby field. Jignesh Patel suffered minor injuries in the crash.

Dishant, who lived with his parents, was a registered pharmacist and worked for Lloyds Pharmacy.

Dishant’s father, Shailesh Patel, said: “Dishant’s death absolutely devastated the family. We still have not come to terms with the fact that he is no longer with us.

“He was a pivotal member of the family, who was ambitious and dedicated to his new career. It’s so upsetting that we will not see him flourish in his professional life, which he would no doubt have done.

“Despite the verdict, the hard fact is nothing will ever bring Dishant back and that is just heart-breaking.

“As a family we really want to thank the team from Cambridgeshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service who were involved in the case and were completely dedicated to their job. They worked incredibly hard throughout and kept us informed and supported.”

During the investigation and trial, it emerged that a factor in the collision were the actions of a front seated passenger who had been recording the journey on his mobile phone and using social media app, Snapchat. The driver stated in evidence that the back torch light from the front passenger’s phone had interfered with his vision on the dark unlit road when the collision occurred.

Before delivering his sentence, the judge read a victim impact statement prepared by Dishant’s family and considered this alongside Jignesh’s own statement and background information about Jignesh.

The judge also considered substantial mitigating factors, noting that Dishant had been a very close friend of Jignesh Patel’s. He also said that the front seat passenger had clearly contributed to Jignesh Patel losing control of the vehicle.

Neil Whiteley stated: “Although there was clear evidence that the driver had been speeding at times leading up to the crash, sadly this incident goes to demonstrate the risks around mobiles and videos distracting the driver.

“I would also urge people to take note of the #dontstreamanddrive campaign which seeks to raise awareness of these dangers, currently being promoted online.”