No justice for Edward

THE grieving family of a Cleckheaton businessman who was knocked down by a speeding car say "justice has not been done", after no action was taken against the driver.

Thursday, 28th January 2010, 2:39 pm
Updated Friday, 29th January 2010, 8:49 am

Bradford Coroner's Court heard how Edward "Eddie" McGuinness, 43, a former Bradford Bulls conditioning coach, was crossing Huddersfield Road outside the Drop Kick Pub in Low Moor, on Saturday March 7 last year, when he was hit by a red Vauxhall Corsa, driven by unemployed Anthony Farrell, of Wyke.

Farrell and his two friends, had been driving around the area with their music playing when the accident happened at around 9.30pm.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Coroner Roger Whittaker said the father-of-two suffered "non-survivable injuries" when he was thrown into the air in the collision.

He said there were two main contributing factors which caused his death - the speed of the car and the amount of alcohol Mr McGuinness had consumed - the equivalent of eight pints.

PC Alan Broadbent, a police collision investigator, said CCTV footage obtained from the British Queen pub showed Farrell's vehicle travelling at around 50mph on Huddersfield Road, which has a speed limit of 40mph.

As reported in the Spenborough Guardian last month, the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to press charges against the three 18-year-olds arrested in connection with the incident, because there was no realistic prospect of a conviction due to conflicting evidence from witnesses.

After the inquest, the victim's sister, Jackie McGuinness, said: "We are all disgusted at the decision.

"We're gutted.

"How a person can get away with killing someone and not receive a prison sentence, fine or points on their licence is disgusting.

"It's not good enough.

"Justice has not been done."

Earlier in the hearing, Mr Farrell said he had been driving along Huddersfield Road between 38mph and 40mph when a man ran out into the road.

He said he did not brake, but swerved to the right to avoid him.

But Mr McGuinness carried on running in the same direction and was hit by the car.

The court heard how another vehicle, a red Volkswagen Polo, had been seen by witnesses "tailgating" Mr Farrell's car, shortly before the accident happened.

In a statement read out in court, the driver, Gary Hall, of Halifax, said Mr Farrell overtook him while driving along Huddersfield Road towards Bradford.

He said: "I wouldn't describe his speed as dangerous, but it was a bit too quick.

"I saw a man run into the road.

"The car did not brake but definitely moved to the right to avoid the man but he was hit.

"We had to swerve to the right to avoid the man."

Mr Whittaker said: "In crossing the road, I accept he looked both ways and then walked into the road.

"He then began to run having realised there was a vehicle coming towards him.

"At the same time, the driver of the vehicle swerved the same way and they came together, sadly in the middle of the road."

The coroner raised questions about the speed limit on the road and said he would write to the council suggesting the speed limit be reduced to 30mph.

Mr McGuinness and business partner Karl Harrison owned EK Interiors, a kitchen and bathroom showroom in Bradford Road, Cleckheaton.

The former rugby player leaves behind his wife Tracy and their baby son Connor.

Mr McGuinness also had another child from a previous relationship.