Mum found son lying dead in ditch after tracing his iPhone

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A mother searching for her son after he didn’t come home from a night out found him lying dead in a ditch after using an app to trace his iPhone. Distraught Rachael Ashworth found her 22-year-old son Josh lying face down in a ditch just after 7am on April 23 last year. Josh had been walking home the previous night along the A52 near Grantham, Lincs, at around 9.30pm when he was struck by a BMW driven at “over 60mph” by disqualified driver Cole Tressider. Josh died instantly from a fractured skull.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Josh had been in contact with his family on his iPhone during that evening and when he failed to return home the next morning, they began searching for him.

Steven Gosnell, prosecuting, said Josh’s family and friends went to the location on the A52 after the tracking app on his iPhone showed it was stationary at the scene near Somerby Hill.

The court heard Tresidder had fled the scene and failed to report the collision despite the damage to the BMW which he had abandoned nearby, the Mirror reports.

Shortly before the collision, Tresidder was seen by another vehicle whose occupants considered he was driving in excess of the speed limit, Mr Gosnell said.

Lincolnshire Police collision investigator PC Godfrey Barlow also concluded Tresidder was driving above 60mph when he hit Josh, who was walking in the same direction towards Grantham.

At the time of the collision, Tresidder was banned from driving after being convicted of driving without due care and attention on December 8, 2021, when he crashed into parked cars on Norton Street, Grantham.

On that occasion, Tresidder was found to be in possession of 39 wraps of cocaine valued at up to £1,560 and over £1,000 in cash after trying to speed away from a police car.

The court heard Tresidder only handed himself into a local police station at around midday on April 23, 2022, after reading reports of a road fatality on social media. Tresidder failed to provide a specimen to officers and said he did not report the collision because he was a banned driver and had no insurance.

He said he did not know that he had hit a pedestrian, and thought it was possibly a deer. The court heard Tresidder had phoned a vehicle recovery company to get the BMW at 9.37pm on April 22.

In a moving victim impact statement which she read out in court, Josh’s mother described the horror of going to look for her son and finding him dead.

Mrs Ashworth turned to Tresidder and said: “Why would anyone leave this beautiful human being on the side of the road?

“I could have been spared finding my son with those horrific injuries.”

She described Josh as her “beautiful, complex and loving son,” adding: “My life as I knew it ended on Saturday 23 April.”

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Josh’s father, Simon Ashworth, added: “I have such sadness I was not there to help my little boy. Josh would do anything to help anyone. The hole he has left in our lives is immeasurable.”

Tresidder, of Springfield Road, Leicester, had admitted a charge of causing death by careless driving and failing to provide a specimen. He also pleaded guilty to driving a black BMW while disqualified and having no insurance when the collision occurred. He also admitted possessing cocaine and with intent to supply the Class A drug on December 8, 2021.

Passing sentence Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight said it had been reasonable not to expect a pedestrian on that stretch of road.

But Judge Sjolin Knight told Tresidder he had compounded his decision not to report the collision by allowing Josh’s family and friends to find him.

“Using a tracking App on his phone it was his mother who found Josh in a ditch by the A52,” Judge Sjolin Knight added.

“In her words ‘her beautiful boy dead by the side of the road’.”

Tresidder was jailed for 86 months and banned from driving for 77 months. He must also take an extended retest.

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