Lorry driver killed father-of-four while gambling on phone as he drove

Lorry driver, 48, who killed married father-of-four, 60, as he ‘cannoned’ into his broken-down car while gambling on his phone and using Facebook before trying to delete the apps when police arrived is jailed for seven years

  • Dean Moffat bet £20 on greyhound race before he ‘cannoned’ into Ric Mboma
  • Moffat hit the father-of-four with his MAN lorry on the A343 dual carriageway 
  • He almost continually used phone to place bets, read emails and go on Facebook
  • He ploughed into Ric Mboma ad his teenagers as they pulled over to change tyre
  • 48-year-old Moffat, from Peterlee, County Durham, sentenced to seven years

A lorry driver who was gambling on his mobile and scrolling through Facebook as he ploughed into and killed a father-of-four, has been jailed for seven years.  

Dean Moffat bet £20 on a greyhound race just moments before he ‘cannoned’ into Ric Mboma with his MAN lorry on the A343 between Winchester and Newbury. 

Moffat had ‘almost continually used his iPhone’ while he was driving to place bets, read emails and messages, browse Facebook and talk on the phone. 

Mr Mboma was at the side of a dual-carriageway with his hazard lights on and was getting a spare tyre out of the boot when Moffat crashed into his Toyota at 56mph in November 2019. 

The 60-year-old was killed instantly, and his two teenage children were injured in the horror crash. 

Mr Mboma’s son told the court his father was his ‘best friend’, while his sister said she ‘blamed herself’ for her father’s death adding:  ‘The worst injury is the internal pain that will never go away.’

The 48-year-old HGV driver, who claimed to have a gambling addiction, deleted betting apps on his phone including SKy Bet and BET365 minutes after the crash in a bid to cover up what he had been doing. 

Judge Jane Miller QC said Moffat, ‘showed a total disregard for the great danger that was caused to others on many occasions.’

Dean Moffat, pictured, had ‘almost continually used his iPhone’ while he was driving to place bets, read emails and messages, browse Facebook and talk on the phone

Ric Mboma, pictured, died when the lorry crashed into his car on the dual carriageway

Moffat initially told police he deleted the apps so he didn’t see notifications relating to the football coming through on his phone.  

Mr Mboma died instantly, and his two teenage children, Heaven, 15, and Witley, 19, suffered lasting physical and mental injuries.  

Witley, now 20, read out a victim impact statement at Winchester Crown Court, Hants, and described how she now suffers from panic attacks. 

‘I can’t help but blame myself for my father’s demise and suffer with survivor’s guilt,’ she said.  ‘The worst injury is the internal pain that will never go away.

‘I suffer from extreme panic attacks, I often think about taking my own life so I can see my dad again.

‘I don’t wish bad on the lorry driver, I just wish he is remorseful and understands how his negligence has caused so much pain and suffering.’

The court heard that Heaven suffered such devastating mental health issues that he had to spend a week in hospital and has received treatment for psychosis. He told how his dad was his ‘best friend’. 

Judge Jane Miller QC said: ‘There was a total disregard for the great danger that was caused to others on many occasions.

Father of four Mr Mboma, 60, had been changing a tyre on his car when the incident happened

‘You took no evasive action whatsoever and cannoned straight into Mr Mboma, causing his death instantly. You were uninjured, your phone was not seized immediately, and you knew exactly what you were doing when less than 15 minutes later you uninstalled betting apps.’

Dashcam footage revealed that Moffat could have seen Mr Mboma’s hazard lights up to 36 seconds before the crash. Other vehicles had braked or changed lane to avoid Mr Mboma.   

Prosecutor Catherine Donnelly said records revealed Moffat, who had set off from Middlesborough at 2pm, had used his phone frequently throughout his journey. 

The court heard that Moffat had used Facebook 12 times, have read 14 emails and five WhatsApp messages, spoken on the phone three times and had used his firm’s tracker app. 

He also placed four bets on betting apps and used the Sky Bet app to listen to greyhound commentary. 

Dean Moffat bet £20 on a greyhound race just moments before he ‘cannoned’ into Ric Mboma. He was jailed for seven years 

‘He told police he was not sure if he was looking at his phone and was not sure when he last looked at it,’ Ms Donnelly said.

‘He said that using his phone does not distract him when driving and if he got a message he would check to see if it was important. ‘He said if he needed to use the phone he would pick it up and it would not distract his driving.

‘There’s evidence of other vehicles reacting to the situation in front of them but there was no reaction from Moffat.’  

Judge Jane Miller QC jailed Moffat, a Royal Logistics Corps Sergeant with 22 years service, for seven years.    

She told him: ‘This was driving that decided to ignore the rules for a prolonged time. 

‘There was a total disregard for the great danger that was caused to others on many occasions. You took no evasive action whatsoever and cannoned straight into Mr Mboma, causing his death instantly. 

‘You were on your mobile phone for a significant amount of time on your journey that afternoon.

‘I have no doubt your failure to realise your own danger constituted an extreme risk to other road users, especially as when you were driving what is essentially a lethal weapon.

‘Using your phone meant you were seriously distracted. You continue to make excuses by pretending not to know if you were placing bets.

‘This was a prolonged, persistent and deliberate case of bad driving, using a phone is a gross and avoidable distraction. Mr Mboma was unavoidably on the road and was vulnerable and so were his children.’ 

In a letter to the Mboma family, Moffat, from Peterlee, County Durham, wrote: ‘I have not forgiven myself for the accident and would not expect forgiveness from you.’ 

Source: Read Full Article