Wesham dad Andrew Dean's killer loses liberty as his devastated wife tells court: "There is a hole in my heart that can never be mended."

A learner driver who killed a dad-of-three during a road rage incident in Kirkham in 2019 has been detained in a young offender's institution for six years, with an extended three licence for the public's protection.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 2:46 pm

Jorden Rowbottom, 20, of Manor Road, Denton, Manchester, appeared before Preston Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, causing death while uninsured, and causing death while not holding a full licence.

New grandad Andrew Dean, 46, had been driving a white Renault Master van westbound on the A583 when he was involved in an argument with Rowbottom - then 18 and a provisional licence holder - because he had been overtaking and undertaking vehicles and cutting them up.

The incident, at around 4.15pm on July 18, 2019 at the junction of Freckleton Street and the A583, led to Rowbottom reversing and driving towards Mr Dean in a blue Nissan Micra as Mr Dean remonstrated with him, before driving off with Mr Dean spreadeagled on his bonnet.

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Andrew Dean
Andrew Dean

Mr Dean, described as "loving, sincere, loyal and hard working" suffered catastrophic head injuries when Rowbottom braked hard, flinging him into the road, and died at the scene, despite his son and others trying to save him.

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In the run up to the tragedy several drivers had witnessed Rowbottom's erratic and dangerous driving, including a man who he caused to brake harshly on the A59 in Hutton.

Another man saw him speeding and cutting in front of him, while another saw him "fly past" him on the A583.

Jorden Rowbottom

A woman noticed him tailgating another vehicle, and one man saw him "swerving from lane to lane on the A583".

At the time Rowbottom was on bail awaiting sentence for threatening a security guard with a knife.

The court heard Mr Dean became irritated at the defendant's driving which he noticed as they passed Dobbies Garden Centre. The Nissan overtook his van to barge ahead of him in a queue, causing Mr Dean to brake harshly and skid to a stop.

Ms Pierpoint added: " Sam Dean describes his father as having road rage. He said his father was furious and frustrated."

The Nissan had stopped in front of Mr Dean at red lights and Mr Dean pulled the van up at an angle and got out, telling his son to call police.

Several witnesses saw Mr Dean shouting: "Get out of the f***ing car" and "You need to learn how to drive", and hammering on the car, with Rowbottom locking his door and the females "looking scared."

Mr Dean was seen to hit the wing mirror causing it to bend.

Mr Pierpoint said: "Mr Dean then stood in front of the Nissan and put his arms across the bonnet and held onto it, Sam believes he did so as he didn't want him to leave the scene.

"His anger appears to have subsided by this stage. He is handed the phone by his son.

"He then motioned for cars behind them to pass by when the lights had turned green."

The Nissan reversed into the front left side of the van and then moved backwards and forwards trying to manoeuvre from between the van and a BMW.

Rowbottom twice drove forward and nudged Mr Dean.

She added: " The Nissan reversed back a final time and then drove forwards, accelerating directly at Mr Dean, who fell forward onto the bonnet. He was spreadeagled on the bonnet but it accelerated at pace towards traffic lights."

Rowbottom, travelling at around 19mph, then braked hard, flinging Mr Dean off the car. He drove around him, narrowly missing him, and sped away.

Sam Dean witnessed the incident and ran to his father's assistance and cradled him as he bled heavily.

Witnesses, including an off duty paramedic tried to assist.

Ms Pierpoint said: "It was apparent he had suffered a catastrophic head injury and was not breathing. Any attempt at resuscitation proved futile and he was declared dead at 16.34pm."

A post mortem found he had died from severe blunt force head injuries.

Rowbottom was arrested 30 miles away on the M61 at 5pm after police boxed the car in.

He gave a prepared statement claiming Mr Dean had tailgated him and was punching his windows and shouting and swearing.

In a heartbreaking statement, Andrew's wife of 26 years and childhood sweetheart, Claire Dean, said her "world changed when my best friend and soulmate was taken away forever.

She added: "I've known him nearly all my life, true childhood sweethearts. I never imagined a day we would not grow old together."

She revealed their first grandchild, Amelia, was just 10 weeks old when he died and would never know him, adding: " It's so painfully bittersweet seeing her grow and develop knowing he is not here to see it.

"There is now a permanent emptiness inside me that will haunt me.

"Andrew's name means 'manly, strong protector' - he was exactly that to our family."

She said she was "vulnerable, anxious and scared without him" and saddened they will never be able to fulfil the dreams and plans they made together.

Mrs Dean, who believes her husband's actions were to stop Rowbottom harming someone else, said she hoped his death was not in vain, and had saved another family from the death and devastation they had experienced.

She added: "There is a hole in my heart that can never be mended. Today and everyday until I die I will mourn my soulmate."

The court heard Rowbottom, also a dad-of-three, had been before the youth courts for offences including voyeurism and possession of a blade.

Defending, Sharon Watson said he was remorseful and acknowledged his actions had left an entire family "devastated and suffering unimaginable loss".

She told the court he was gifted the car aged 16 by his grandparents, adding it was "completely irresponsible and improper for them to do so."

She said Rowbottom, who has special educational needs, had nine care placements as a young child and he and his siblings were taken into care when his mum assaulted him.

She added: "He has never had a stable loving home, he has never had proper role models in his life.

Imposing an 10 year disqualification and retest, Judge Graham Knowles QC said: " His wife tells me in a personal statement of searing pain that he was the man you would want your son to grow up to be - selfless, loving and for the last 10 weeks of his life a delighted grandfather.

"His death, she writes, has 'obliterated our lives'.

"No sentence can undo what you have done. No sent can assuage the grief or give back the life that Andrew Dean would have led.

"It's clear to me that you were showing off to the young women.

"Well we have all seen people driving like that. It is frightening, it's frightening because of what sometimes happens. Sometimes young people driving like that get away with it, but sometimes they maim or kill."

He said any drivers with any sense who see somebody driving that way wants it to stop and that "that was no doubt was part of Andrew Dean's thinking."

He told Rowbottom he had treated his victim with contempt.

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