A DRIVER who set his van on fire after killing a pedestrian has been sentenced to almost a decade behind bars.
Father-of-three David Clegg, 56, died after being hit by Scott Freeth’s Mercedes Sprinter van on Lees Road, Hurst Cross, Ashton-under-Lyne, on Saturday, June 19, 2021.
Freeth failed to stop at the scene and attempted to cover his tracks by setting his van alight at nearby industrial estate.
However, his two passengers reported the incident and Freeth turned himself in the next day.
Freeth (18/03/89), of Thorncliffe Avenue, Dukinfield, was sentenced at Minshull Street Crown Court on 27 July 2023 to 14 years behind bars, reduced to nine years and seven months for an early guilty plea.
He had previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice in May 2023.
Freeth has also been banned from driving for a further eight years following his release, with a requirement to take an extended retest.
The investigation into the incident was undertaken by specialist investigators from GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU).
Sergeant Matt Waggett, who led the case for GMP, said: “I would like to express of behalf of myself and Greater Manchester Police my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Mr Clegg following this tragedy and thank them for their understanding and patience while my team and I progressed the criminal investigation and brought this case to this point.
“His family have shown the greatest of strength throughout this case.
“Freeth admitted his crimes and has now been sentenced for his irresponsible and selfish actions, and for his deliberate and calculated efforts to disguise his crime in an attempt to avoid detection.
“While the sentence given today will never bring Mr Clegg back to his family, I hope that it will provide some comfort to them; and reassure the wider public as a dangerous driver is removed from society.”
Speaking after Freeth’s sentencing, David’s daughter Casey, who was only 14 at the time of the crash, said: “Waking up to be told that my dad had been killed not only devastated me, but ruined my life, my future and my plans.
“It was completely out of the blue and I didn’t expect it at all. It has impacted my life by not being able to grow up with my dad.
“He won’t see me grow up or be able to see his grandkids and it really upsets me.
“Father’s Day, birthdays, Christmases and even New Year’s Eve have completely changed. Father’s Day is the worst of all of them, because I can’t be with him.”