A DRUG driver who killed a teenager in a hit and run whilst high on amphetamine and cannabis has been jailed.

Derek Richards was locked up after he hit Rhys Dobson and fled the scene in his Citroen C3.

The defendant had taken a potentially fatal amount of amphetamine and was more than three times the legal limit for driving.

The 19-year-old victim died instantly on Varteg Road in Blaenavon at around 3.20am on Sunday April 14 20,19.


Mr Dobson was struck following a night out with colleagues after working as a steward the day before at a football match in Oxford.

He had been walking home because he was unable to book a taxi.

Lorry driver Richards, 38, of Morgan Street, Blaenavon, had denied causing the death of Rhys Dobson by driving without due care and attention.

He was convicted by a jury following a trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

Richards maintained he thought he had driven over a washing machine or fridge on the dark country road during the early hours of the morning.

Ieuan Bennett, representing the defendant, said in mitigation his client had shown remorse for his actions and had suffered “flashbacks and nightmares”.

His barrister added: “He has been assessed as presenting a low risk of reoffending “He has three young daughters and is a dutiful father.”

Judge Nicola Jones told Richards: “Rhys Dobson had tried to get a taxi but he was unable to.

“You hit and killed him and you made no attempt to stop.

“He died instantly from severe head injuries.

“When you were tested for drugs you were found with significant quantities of amphetamine and cannabis in your system.

“You had taken amphetamine prior to driving and had 800mg per litre of blood.

“That would have killed a person not used to taking drugs.

“I reject your claim that you had taken amphetamine post-collision.

“I find this a significant aggravating feature.

“Your offending is so serious that only an immediate term of imprisonment is appropriate.”

Richards was jailed for three years and banned from driving for four years and six months.

He must pass an extended retest before he can drive again.

Outside the court, Sergeant Robert Ball, the senior investigating officer in the case, said: “This was a tragic case which claimed the life of 19-year-old Rhys Dobson, the effects of which will sadly be long-lasting for his loved ones.

“I would like to commend Mr Dobson’s family who have shown courage and dignity throughout the investigation and court proceedings.

“Our thoughts remain with them at this time.

“Careless driving is one of the ‘fatal five’ offences, along with speeding, drink and drug-driving, mobile phone use and not wearing a seatbelt.

“This is a reminder to everyone who gets behind the wheel – your responsibility isn’t just to ensure your own safety, but the safety of everyone around you.”