A JUDGE has sentenced a Barnsley pensioner to eight years in prison after he caused the death of a young dad in a ‘comprehensively deplorable piece of driving’.

On April 3 2022 at 1.30pm, Barrie Barker, 69, of Wharncliffe, Dodworth, was driving a red Mini Cooper on Claycliffe Road in Barnsley when he dangerously overtook a car at the brow of a hill and caused a fatal road traffic collision.

The court heard how a dangerous manoeuvre led to Barker’s Mini clipping a blue Vauxhall Astra, causing it to be propelled into the path of an oncoming HGV.

The Astra was being driven by 34-year-old Alexander Firth and carrying two passengers, his wife Kirsty, and his 10-year-old son.

Alexander suffered fatal injuries during the collision and sadly died at the scene. The two passengers were seriously injured.

In the moments leading up to the collision, Barker was witnessed driving the Mini dangerously as he attempted to overtake the Astra despite oncoming traffic.

Following a detailed police investigation involving multiple witness statements and forensic analysis of CCTV and dashcam footage, Barker was charged and summoned to appear before Barnsley Magistrates’ Court in June 2023.

At a six-day trial at Sheffield Crown Court, earlier in May, Barker was found guilty of two counts of causing injury by dangerous driving and one count of causing death by dangerous driving. Barker appeared before the same court on Friday and was sentenced to eight years in prison and handed a five-year extended driving ban.

Judge Richardson remarked when delivering the sentence that Barker’s actions had been a comprehensively deplorable piece of driving with devastating consequences.

Lead Investigating Officer from the Serious Collisions Unit, Sergeant John Taylor, said: “Barker’s actions on that April day were dangerous and it is only right that he will now serve time behind bars.

“Barker chose to drive in a dangerous manner with complete disregard for the risk he posed to other road users. He has shown no remorse for his actions and has left an innocent family devastated with the loss of their loved one.

“I hope that Alexander’s family can take some comfort from the knowledge that a dangerous driver is now off the roads.

“We will continue to police our roads in South Yorkshire and pursue dangerous drivers to ensure other responsible road users are safe from harm.”