A couple from Sittingbourne have been sentenced after they claimed their car had been stolen before it was involved in a fatal collision with a motorcyclist.
Stuart Powell was behind the wheel of his wife’s car on Wednesday 12th May 2021 when he pulled out in front of a motorcyclist on the B2005 Swale Way inKemsley, near the Milton Creek Fishing Lake.
Powell, aged 34 and of Miller Close in Kemsley, only held a provisional driving licence and was found to have been using his mobile phone at the time of the collision.
The motorcyclist was left fatally injured while his pillion passenger also suffered serious injuries.
Two passing Police Community Support Officers witnessed the aftermath of the collision and told Stuart to remain at the scene, however instead Powell left the area and contacted his partner, Carly Powell.
Shortly after the call ended, Carly, 36, also of Miller Close in Kemsley, falsely reported that her car had been stolen.
The following day Powell handed himself into a local police station and admitted he had been involved in the collision but continued to lie and claimed he had lost his mobile phone.
This was later found by officers and it was discovered he had conducted a factory reset just a few days prior to it being found. It was later confirmed that the phone had been used at the time of the collision.
Powell was later charged with causing death by dangerous driving. He was also charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving and two counts of perverting the course of justice. He admitted all the charges.
Carly Powell admitted to the charge of perverting the course of justice.
At Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday (5th July) Stuart Powell was sentenced to five years and 10 months in jail, of which he will have to serve half.
He will also remain disqualified from driving for seven years once he is released from prison.
Carly Powell was handed an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable David Holmes of Kent Police's Serious Collision Investigation Unit, told SFM News outside the court: "Stuart Powell should never have been behind the wheel, let alone driving and using his mobile phone. His actions caused a man to lose his life leaving his family to mourn the loss of their son, brother and uncle. Collectively the Powells lied to Kent Police and sought to distance themselves from any involvement or blame, claiming the car had been stolen, when in fact Stuart was wholly responsible. Nothing can bring back the victim, but I hope this sentence can offer some justice and help the family to gain some closure."