A drug driver who killed a cyclist from Edgworth in a crash has been jailed for seven years.

Jonathon Ramsbottom was driving a van along Burnley Road, Todmorden, on the morning of May 9 last year, when he struck a bicycle being ridden by Stephen White. 

Mr White, aged 54 a member of Bury running club Holcombe Harriers, suffered serious injuries and died away in hospital a short time after.

Bury Times:

(Stephen White)

Ramsbottom, of Hind Hill Street, Heywood in Manchester, was found to have 200 micrograms of Benzoylecgonine – a major metabolite of cocaine – in 100millilitres of blood.

This was in excess of four times the specified legal limit.

He was charged with causing death by driving without due care while unfit through drugs and appeared at Bradford Crown Court where he pleaded guilty.

In sentencing Ramsbottom, 37, the Judge said that he would have jailed him for ten years had he opted for trial.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Constable Simon Marshall, of the Major Collision and Enquiry Team, said: “This sentence reflects the severity of the consequences of driving while under the influence of drugs, and should serve as a warning to anyone who believes they can do so safely.”

Tributes poured in for Mr White following his death.

He was a keen runner and cyclist.

In a statement released shortly after his death, his family said: “Stephen was a much loved husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend to so many and will be terribly missed by all that knew him.”

In a statement the club said at the time of the tragedy: "Steve was an extremely popular member of Holcombe Harriers. He always had a smile on his face and had a kind word for everybody.

"He was a man who enjoyed the comradery of his club mates and shared his generous personality and sense of humour."

It added: "He was involved in all aspects of club life, enjoyed racing on and off the fell and in triathlon. He was determined to succeed in all his athletic endeavours and was presently training for Ironman.

"All members of the Harriers are deeply saddened by his untimely loss, he will be greatly missed."