A DELIVERY van driver has been jailed for killing a popular Welsh rugby man in a Christmas Eve crash.

Iceland worker Lewis Smith, 23, hit 64-year-old David Power from behind as the victim was cycling in Cwmbran on December 24, 2020.

Newport Crown Court heard how the defendant ploughed into the back of him after taking his eyes off the road to look at his sat nav.

South Wales Argus:

David Power kneeling and, above from the left, rugby greats Gareth Edwards, Derek Quinnell, Tommy David, John Dawes, John Pullin, JPR Williams and Phil Bennett at a cheque presentation with the Welsh Charitables (Picture: Mark Tamplin)

‘Dapper’, as Mr Power was nicknamed, was well-known in rugby circles.

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He was the honorary secretary of the Welsh Charitables RFC, an organisation raising funds for charities throughout the country.

Mr Power, who was from Cwmbran, was responsible for events supported by Welsh rugby legends like Gareth Edwards, JPR Williams and Phil Bennett.

Claire Pickthall, prosecuting, said Smith was driving a Mercedes Sprinter van when he struck him at around 11am on that sunny Christmas Eve morning on Cwmbran Drive.

South Wales Argus:

David Power

Mr Power died shortly afterwards at the scene as he was being taken into an ambulance.

Miss Pickthall said: "The driver created a substantial risk of danger."

In a victim impact statement, Mr Power’s sister, Susan Hobbs, said: “Rugby was his life and he was very passionate about it.

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“He was looking forward to the future and was learning to speak Welsh.

“David had raised £130,000 for the Welsh Charitables and was hugely dedicated to it.

“It’s devastating not to have him here.”

Smith, of Cedar Way, Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

The defendant, who graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering from Swansea University, was a man of previous good character with no convictions.

Smith, the court was told, was working as a delivery driver for Iceland to help him pay off his student loan.

His barrister Ieuan Bennett said: “The defendant may have misjudged the width of the road.

“He foolishly took his eyes off the road for a few seconds to look at his sat nav.

“The victim wouldn’t have known what hit him. It was a tragic incident all round.

“The defendant is a bright young man. If he could turn the clock back, he would.

“He wants to pass on his remorse to the family.”

Judge Jeremy Jenkins told Smith: “You collided with Mr Power and caused his death.

“When you were arrested by the police, you were characteristically candid and honest with them.

“This is a tragic case.

“Mr Power’s family have lost a loved and cherished member.

“You are a young, intelligent man of hitherto exemplary character who has great prospects in life.

“Nobody intended for this tragedy to happened.

"You were not speeding or racing and you have expressed what I believe to be genuine and heartfelt remorse.”

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