A DRIVER was handed a suspended prison sentence after he admitted causing the death of a “beautiful” 12-year-old boy who was knocked off his bike.

Cole Roper, from Cefn Fforest, near Blackwood, was tragically killed after he was struck by Damien Wayne, 34, who was at the wheel of a Vauxhall Astra in 2019.

South Wales Argus: Cole Roper

Cole Roper

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At Newport Magistrates’ Court, the defendant was jailed for 16 weeks, suspended for 18 months.

Wayne, also known by the alias Adam Bailey, pleaded guilty to causing the schoolboy’s death by driving a car not covered by a valid insurance policy.


He also admitted making a false statement by failing to declare two speeding convictions – from 2016 and 2018 – when obtaining an insurance certificate between January 1 and September 8, 2019.

Cole died after a crash with Wayne on the A4049 road between Aberbargoed and Pengam on September 7, 2019.

The Blackwood Comprehensive School student was initially taken to Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil for treatment.

He was later transferred to the University Hospital Wales in Cardiff where, as a result of his injuries, he died.

In a moving tribute paid to him at the time, his family said: “Our beautiful boy Cole, a sensitive, smiley, fun-loving soul.

"A wonderful son, brother, grandson and friend to many.

"Words cannot describe how much he will be missed.

"Thank you from all of the family for the condolences shown at this time.

"We would appreciate some time and privacy to grieve."

South Wales Argus:

Cole Roper

The court was told Wayne, of Gilfach Street, Bargoed, had “relatively limited” previous convictions.

He was ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work and banned from driving for two years.

The defendant, who was represented by Richard Williams, was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 towards the prosecution’s costs.

Cole was with another 12-year-old boy at the time who was treated in hospital for his injuries before he was released.