A man has been jailed for five years after admitting killing a 15-year-old boy in a hit and run incident in Risley.
Adam Barry was cycling along Derby Road between Borrowash and Risley at around 9pm on Saturday 25 April 2020, when he was struck by a car driven by Milan Gugyel.
At the time the country was under strict lockdown measures and Adam, who had been taking his 30 minutes of exercise, was just a few minutes away from his home in Sandiacre.
Gugyel meanwhile had visited a friend in Draycott at 4pm where he dropped off a lawnmower he had borrowed. He then stayed at the house with his friend and was seen drinking beer and whiskey by neighbours – bragging about the fact he was breaching lockdown rules and stating he was “drunk” in text messages.
He left the house at 8.55pm and immediately called another friend.
A few minutes prior to Gugyel, a HGV driver who was furloughed at the time, turning right out of Hopwell Lane onto Derby Road, Adam passed the same junction riding back towards his home.
With schools closed due to lockdown measures Adam had developed a routine of heading out on his BMX bike in the evening.
The night was warm and the light still more than adequate for another driver to see Adam and avoid him on the same stretch of road.
However, Gugyel, distracted by the phone call and impaired by the alcohol he had drunk, ploughed into Adam at high speed at around 9.10pm. The impact threw Adam’s bike on to the opposite side of the road – while Adam landed on a grass verge some way from the collision.
The front of Gugyel’s Audi A2 suffered huge damage and an enormous amount of debris was left at the scene.
Knowing he had been drinking and that he would likely lose his HGV licence Gugyel drove on without stopping.
He raced back to his home in Heanor, where he inspected the damage to his car, researched how to scrap a car and removed a piece of plastic from the badly damaged front end.
As Gugyel made his way home detectives from the force’s Collision Investigation Unit were rushing to secure vital evidence at the scene. Left at the point of the collision were several parts that officers were able to use to identify the make and model of the car involved.
A list of vehicles that matched the make, model and colour from the national vehicle data base had to be compiled before officers attended numerous addresses throughout the night, eliminating cars as they went, before they found the damaged Audi at Gugyel’s home in Holmesfield Drive, Heanor, the following morning.
He was arrested and breathalysed, however, by that point any alcohol had left the 34-year-old’s system. He refused to answer any questions during interview and was bailed with conditions not to drive and to also surrender his passport – conditions he challenged and managed to overturn at court.
He denied being responsible for Adam’s death until, just days before the start of his trial, he pleaded guilty to one charge of causing death by dangerous driving.
Today (23 December) at Derby Crown Court he was jailed for five years and 11 months and when he is released from prison, he will be banned from driving for five years. Judge Robert Egbuna also asked for the Home Office to review his leave to remain in the UK when he is released.
In a victim impact statement read out to the court, Adam’s father Peter explained the devastating effect his son’s death has had on him and his family:
“It is utterly heart breaking and grief on a whole different level. The feeling of loss is truly overwhelming and consumes you every minute of every day. The yearning to be with him again and see him is so great nothing else really has chance to enter your mind.
“You hope to catch a glimpse of him in the mirror, smell his clothes that are in his wardrobe so you can for a few seconds be transported back to when he was here. Every morning we wake up to the horrific reality he has gone. Every evening when it gets dark, we think of him lying there alone on the grass verge.
“The circumstances of Adam’s death make it even harder to process, and we are in a constant state of disbelief and anger, you think you are starring in a horror movie, but it’s your life.
“The what ifs go round and round in your mind, what if he had sat longer with us all at the dinner table that afternoon, what if he had been a few minutes earlier or later out on his bike, what if we had convinced him to come for a walk instead. The terrifying thoughts haunt you; did he know what was happening or was he unconscious on impact, was he conscious on the grass verge and knew what was happening and did he feel the excruciating pain he must have been in, was he calling out for us.
“These thoughts truly haunt you.
“The greatest tragedy of all is that Adam’s life was cut short at 15. He was a beautiful young man, loving, compassionate, caring, and well-rounded with a heart of gold. He would do anything to help anyone and had a big heart. He had so much potential and so much to do.
“He had his whole life in front of him and so much to do. Girlfriend, marriage, kids, career, travel. All those things you want for your children he will not experience and the sense of sadness on thinking about what he could and would be doing is heart wrenching.
“Adam did pack a lot into his short life, and it was a happy one, that’s something to hold onto.
“What a waste of what could have been, all because one man couldn’t stay at home like he should have been during that period of lockdown.
“Our world and our lives have been destroyed. The lives of his school friends changed forever at a pivotal time in their lives. If we could swap places with Adam, we would, but we can’t.
“Without doubt, life stopped for myself and my wife that night, so much of us left with Adam. Yet we remain here in a physical form.
“You don’t live, you just exist. We are just killing time.”
DC Scott Cooper, who led the investigation into the incident, said: “Adam Barry was an energetic, friendly and much-loved boy.
“Watching him leave that warm Spring evening his family could never have known that he would not return.
“No sentence will ever bring Adam back – and the pain of his loss will remain with his mother, father and brother forever and my thoughts, along with everyone at Derbyshire Constabulary, are with them.
“While Milan Gugyel did not set out to kill anyone that evening –but the simple fact is that he should not have been on the roads at all.
“After breaching lockdown rules, he got behind the wheel while being, in his own words, drunk and then began a phone conversation. This combination of factors left him unable to see what other drivers had – Adam riding his bike.
“The decisions he had made up to that point were selfish – but the next is beyond contempt.
“He left Adam on the side of the road to die.
“In situations like this every second counts and it was 20 minutes before Adam received any medical help, by which point it was too late.
“Instead of calling an ambulance his only thought was how to get away with the crime.
“He then continued with not guilty pleas until the very last moment before his trial – meaning Adam’s family were put through months of unnecessary waiting for a trial that would never arrive.
“The 14th of December would have been Adam’s 17th birthday – eleven days later the family should have been celebrating Christmas. Instead they have been left with a hole in their lives that will never be filled.”