Advertisement

Matthew Rycroft: Father admits manslaughter of disabled son who was hit by car while trying to cross motorway

A father whose disabled son was hit and killed as he attempted to cross a motorway in the aftermath of a crash has admitted to his manslaughter.

Matthew Rycroft had been drinking with family throughout the day before driving off in his Audi Q5, with his 12-year-old son, Callum, as a passenger.

While driving, the 36-year-old crashed off an M62 slip exit road for the Hartshead Moor Services, in West Yorkshire.

Moments later, Callum and his father attempted to cross the motorway, in what prosecutors described as "reckless folly".

Callum, who prosecutors said had no speed awareness due to his disability, was struck by an oncoming vehicle and died instantly.

On Tuesday, Rycroft pleaded guilty to manslaughter, dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen.

The Crown Prospection Service (CPS) said Callum "should have been under the protection of his father".

"This is an absolutely tragic incident involving the death of a 12-year-old boy," Tom Neofytou from the CPS said.

"His father's insistence on driving while under the influence of alcohol is beyond comprehension.

"Callum paid the ultimate price for his father's careless and criminal actions, and the rest of his family are left to mourn his loss."

The incident took place on 5 August.

Read more:
Boy killed on M62 was a 'beautiful, happy soul'
Man remanded in custody over M62 crash death

According to the CPS, Rycroft had visited his parents in Huddersfield with Callum and had been drinking throughout the day.

They said Rycroft's parents had urged him not to drive and had offered him a place to stay overnight, but he refused and drove away.

"His parents called him and urged him to stop driving, but he paid no heed," the CPS said.

"Callum was heard in the background saying 'Dad... won't stop'. They also tried to follow him, but Rycroft ignored them, and his Audi was seen driving erratically in Huddersfield, before joining the M62 at junction 25."

Rycroft managed to exit the motorway at Hartshead Moor services, where he failed to negotiate a sharp bend on the slip road before hitting the kerb and overturning the vehicle.

The CPS said: "Rycroft and Callum then began to walk toward the main carriageway.

"Callum called his mother, and dialled 999, but Rycroft told him to end the call.

"They were seen to cross the motorway to the central reservation, and then for an unknown reason tried to run back."

Rycroft appeared via a video link from prison to Leeds Crown Court on Tuesday, where he entered his guilty pleas.

Judge Rodney Jameson remanded Rycroft, from Leeds, in custody until his sentencing, which he said would be no earlier than 19 September.