Teenager jailed for three years for killing 57-year-old father

A DUNMOW teenager who killed a cyclist in a crash is today (Friday October 7) beginning a three-year jail sentence.

Joshua Whiston, 19, had passed his driving test four months before the incident.

The collision happened in Ford End when a Vauxhall Corsa struck a pedal cyclist head-on the old A130 near to its junction with B1417 at 9am on Sunday, October 10, 2010.

The cyclist, 57-year-old Nicholas Cherrill from Boreham Road in Great Leighs, was certified dead at the scene.

Whiston, who was 18 at the time of the crash, was arrested and subsequently charged with one count of causing death by dangerous driving.

He pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday August 30. At the same court today (Friday October 7), the 19-year-old engineer from New Street, Dunmow, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and disqualified from driving for six years and ordered to take an extended driving tests if he wishes to drive again.

Outside court, senior investigating officer, Insp Keith Whiting, said: “This is a tragic case for everyone involved. Unfortunately Nick’s family will never full understand how Joshua Whiston came to cause Nick’s death as he has not accounted for his actions throughout the investigation.

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“I hope people take notice of this sentence. Joshua was of previous good character and is now serving a lengthy jail term. He took Nick’s life and had such a terrible effect on so many people including his own family for what appears to be a moment of madness.”

In a statement, Nicholas’ wife, 58-year-old Nicola Cherrill, said: “I first met Nick in 1969. We were both 16 and he told me later that he knew then he wanted to be with me always.

“The children and I feel lost without him; to drive us on, encourage us and support us as he always did; now, we can only do our best in his memory. Nick was a very happy and content man.

“He referred to his family as a very special and precious unit and was devoted to us. Finding a new normality seems close to impossible as we often find ourselves expecting him to walk through the door; we can only assume that these feelings and thoughts will fade with time, although this is difficult to comprehend.

“You cannot return to the past or make the present stay, but our memories hold what is dear to us and they are as precious as life itself.

“Nick will always be with us and I can’t imagine a time that we will forget him or what he has meant to us.”

The victim’s father, Graham Cherrill, said: “Unless it has been experienced, the death of a child, whatever the age, is difficult to comprehend. A sudden and unexpected death is even worse.

“Nick was my only son and we were privileged to watch him grow from junior to teenager and then to adulthood. Nick was a fit, healthy, charismatic man full of energy and ambition.

“Nick was never happier then when he was making people laugh, as his sense of humour was an indicator of a person at peace with himself. So much more could be said about my son’s death; his loss is something we have to live with, but the effect it’s had on all of our lives is almost indescribable and we miss him so much.”