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Jail for Harlow driver Rory Panton who caused death of 10-year-old Bishop's Stortford boy Daniel Bennett



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A 23-year-old man has been jailed for two years and three months after pleading guilty to causing the death of a 10-year-old Bishop's Stortford boy by dangerous driving.

Rory Panton, of Denby Grange, Harlow, was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Monday (Feb 28). He was also disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to take an extended test.

Daniel Bennett was out cycling with his father on the afternoon of Mother's Day (Sunday March 22) in 2020 when a Vauxhall Corsa driven by Panton approached them from behind on Obrey Way, which links Thorley Park with the A1184 St James' Way.

Obrey Way, Thorley, where the fatal collision happened. Picture: Vikki Lince
Obrey Way, Thorley, where the fatal collision happened. Picture: Vikki Lince

As he tried to overtake them Panton noticed an oncoming vehicle and aborted the manoeuvre, cutting back into his lane.

In doing so, he struck Daniel's bicycle, knocking him into a ditch. Daniel suffered a serious head injury and was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, where he died a week later.

Following an investigation by Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police's serious collision investigation unit, Panton was charged in December 2021 and summoned to appear at court.

The Essex and Herts air ambulance landed in a field off Obrey Way (55182918)
The Essex and Herts air ambulance landed in a field off Obrey Way (55182918)

Det Con Ben Amondsen, who led the investigation, said: "Our thoughts very much remain with Daniel's family and friends at what continues to be an extremely difficult time. Nothing will ever make up for the loss of a much-loved little boy who had a bright future ahead of him.

"The judge described it as one of the saddest cases he has dealt with in his 25-year career.

"This tragic incident reinforces the importance of exercising extra care and consideration on the roads, especially around more vulnerable users such as cyclists. It's better to arrive at your destination a few minutes late than to put someone's life at risk."

Daniel Bennett was out cycling with his dad on Mother's Day when he was knocked off his bike by driver Rory Panton
Daniel Bennett was out cycling with his dad on Mother's Day when he was knocked off his bike by driver Rory Panton


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