A driver was twice over the legal limit for alcohol, with traces of cocaine, cannabis and MDMA in his blood when he crashed into a cyclist causing fatal injuries.

Sam Hughes, 32, had been drinking the previous night and had taken drugs at a party before he struck and cyclist Lee Raynor on Chorley New Road on May 5, 2022.

Bolton Crown Court hear how Hughes had run a red light in his VW Polo before hitting Mr Raynor and then driving off.

The cyclist died at the scene as a result of his injuries.

Prosecutor David Lees said: “Mr Hughes continued driving down Chorley New Road, didn’t stop, although the crown say that the crash must have been obvious to him.”

Sat in the dock in a grey jumper and grey jeans, Hughes kept his eyes to the ground and often appeared close to tears as Mr Lees described how Mr Raynor had died that day.

The Bolton News: Police at the scenePolice at the scene (Image: Danny Crompton)

He told the court how Mr Raynor had been wearing a high visibility jacket and was cycling through a green light when Hughes knocked him to the road.

A member of the public tried to help before paramedics were called and Mr Raynor was taken to hospital.

But attempts to resuscitate him proved unsuccessful and Mr Raynor was declared dead that same morning.

Mr Lees said that a taxi driver who had been driving close by described “the Polo has driving at high speed, although of course he wasn’t able to give an accurate estimate.”

Police were able to trace Hughes after a piece of his licence plate was broken off but when they arrived at his home, Hughes claimed instead to be a man called “Thomas.”

The Bolton News: Police carrying out their investigationPolice carrying out their investigation (Image: Danny Crompton)

But he was arrested, identified as the right man and tested positive for alcohol, a by-product of cocaine, a by-product of cannabis and for MDMA, also known as Ecstasy.

Mr Lees said that the night before, Hughes had visited two friends who had seen him drinking vodka before telling them he was “going for a drive in the countryside.”

A police statement said the weather had been fine that day and the road surface dry but accepted that a green filter could have caused “confusion” on the junction.

Hughes, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving in November last year.

The court listened on in silence as Mr Lees read a statement from Mr Raynor’s father detailed how the family had been “completely destroyed and devastated beyond belief.”

He said: “Lee was loved by everyone, all his friends at the social club, the local social club and all his friends he watched football with.”

The Bolton News: Sam Hughes has now been jailedSam Hughes has now been jailed (Image: GMP)

Rachel White, defending, said that Hughes had earned credit for having the “courage and good sense” to plead guilty.

She said: “It has saved an awful lot of heartache and delay and resources.”

She added: “He wishes to be punished, he feels extremely guilty for what he has done.”

Ms White told the court that Hughes, of Daffodil Road, Farnworth, accepted he had been drinking as well as taking cocaine and cannabis at a party, but did not know how MDMA had got into his system.

She also pointed to Hughes’s lack of previous convictions and to the people who had spoken positively about him.

Ms White said: “This was a young man not just of good character, but of positive good character.”

She said that many people knew him as a “lovely young man and a pleasure to know.”

She added: “He is somebody who has had a gross error of judgement and will live with that for the rest of his life.”

Judge Abigail Hudson said she accepted “the junction was a confusing one” but reminded Hughes of the devastation he had wrought.

Speaking about Mr Raynor, she said: “He was by all accounts a hardworking man who has deeply valued by his friends and family.”

She added: “It is a tribute to Mr Raynor that he was so loved, and no one can possibly comprehend the devastation you wrought to that family.”

By contrast she said that Hughes’s decision to flee the scene was “cowardly and callous”, as was his attempt to lie to the policer about his identity.

Judge Hudson said: “But I do accept it was the product of panic, rather than anything more sinister.”

She added: “I fully accept that you are devastated by the suffering of Mr Raynor’s family and that you would turn back the clock if you could.”

Judge Hudson jailed Hughes for a total of six years and nine months.

She also banned him from driving for two years, extended to take account of the time he will spend in prison.

Speaking after the hearing, Sergeant Andrew Page of GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: “Of course our thoughts are with the victim’s family and loved ones at this difficult and saddening time.

"While we understand that no sentence can fully ease their pain or bring their loved one back, we hope that today's sentence provides some form of comfort.

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"Hughes’ actions that evening was appalling and sickening.

"He knowingly and willingly chose to drive his car that evening whilst intoxicated on drugs and alcohol.  

"He showed absolutely no regard for the law or other road users that day.

"Sadly, an innocent member of the community was caught in the crossfire of his actions and now we have lost a life to reckless driving.

"I would urge the public, to please think before you drive.

"Think not only of yourself, but your family, your friends, your loved ones and most importantly think about other people who you could hurt, who’s lives you could change if you drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

"Do not be complacent, do not drive if you have taken anything or drank alcohol.

"Leave plenty of time before you drive, because it might just cost you your life in prison or your life completely."