Man Jailed Over Festival Hit And Run

24 February 2011, 10:20 | Updated: 7 March 2011, 17:06

A man has been given 4 years in prison for killing a teenager in a hit and run outside Isle of Wight's Bestival event.

Henry Minns, aged 19, from Cornwall was walking along Mersley Down Road near Newport with a friend last September.

They were hit by a silver Ford Focus. Henry was killed and his friend, a 20 year old woman, was badly hurt.

The car was being driven by 33 year old James Daniel Slater, from Worthing in West Sussex.

At Portsmouth Crown Court, Judge Ian Pearson sentenced him to four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving whilst over the drink drive limit.

Mr Slater failed to stop at the scene of the collision, continuing to drive towards Ryde. He was then tracked by police and found hiding under a hedge approximately 400 metres away by a police dog.

Despite attempts by several people, including paramedics and police, to resuscitate Mr Minns, he was subsequently pronounced dead at hospital.

Senior Investigating Officer Inspector Martin Goodall of Hampshire Constabulary’s Roads Policing Unit said: 

“Our thoughts remain with the family of Henry Minns after his life was tragically ended in a collision on our roads.

 “This case was a challenge for the police officers and staff from other agencies who had to act with both speed and skill on a main road at night outside one of the year’s biggest and busiest entertainment events.

“Credit must go to PC Martin Norman of the Shanklin Roads Policing Unit who assisted the ambulance crews in attempting to resuscitate Mr Minns, and then performed a crucial role in controlling a chaotic collision scene.

 “I would like to thank paramedics, firefighters, Bestival organisers, site staff and members of the public for their assistance during the delicate aftermath of this tragedy.”

The fancy dress worn by Mr Minns included red trousers and a top with two false arms, giving the appearance of someone with four arms.

Mr Minns's father Martin, his mother Rosie, and his two brothers, Tom and Christopher, said in a statement released after his death:

"Henry was gregarious and outgoing with a wide group of friends and huge zest for life.

"Henry loved music, played violin and guitar - classical and contemporary - and had started learning the double bass.

"He had just finished his foundation year at Falmouth College of Arts and was working for a printer in Penryn while deciding on his future in music, architecture or graphic design.

"Henry had a very happy Cornish childhood and was greatly loved by his family and by his many close friends. He gave so much back to all of us and we are devastated by our loss."