Page last updated at 15:39 GMT, Monday, 8 June 2009 16:39 UK

Drug-using killer driver jailed

Michael Filgate
Filgate was also banned from driving for the rest of his life

A driver has been jailed for killing a cyclist while over the drink-drive limit and under the influence of drugs.

Cyclist Derek Witt, 60, was struck by a Peugeot 406 on the Itchen Bridge in Southampton, in August last year.

Michael Filgate, 38, of Copenhagen Towers, Southampton, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

The car's passenger and owner, John Levy, 36, of Osborne Road South, Southampton, is wanted by police.

'Lethal combination'

Mr Levy denies aiding and abetting causing death by dangerous driving, aiding and abetting causing death by driving without a licence and aiding and abetting causing death by driving without insurance.

He also denies being in possession of cannabis. He entered his pleas at an earlier hearing in February where he was granted bail.

John Levy
Mr Levy is currently wanted by police over the crash

Police said Mr Levy had since breached his bail conditions and disappeared.

They have appealed for information about where he is.

Filgate also admitted causing death by driving without a licence and causing death by driving without insurance.

He was banned from driving for life at Southampton Crown Court on Monday.

In a statement, Mr Witt's wife Janet said: "Derek was a wonderful man, a great husband, father, grandfather and brother.

"We all miss him so much and today's outcome will in some measure help to ease the pain of our loss."

Speaking after the hearing, Ch Insp Darren Miller of Hampshire Constabulary said it was a "tragic collision" which was "wholly avoidable".

He added: "I cannot think of a more lethal combination than that of a driver on the road who had not only drinking alcohol but taking drugs."


Ch Insp Darren Miller read out a statement on behalf of Janet Witt

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