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Dad pleads guilty to manslaughter of disabled son

Callum Rycroft giving a thumbs up

A dad who killed his disabled son attempting to cross a motorway has admitted to manslaughter.

Matthew Rycroft, 36, had been drinking throughout the day before he stepped into the driving seat of his Audi Q5 with 12-year-old Callum.

Coming off the M62 slip exit road for the Hartshead Moor Service Station, West Yorkshire, the father crashed his car.

Leaving the wreck Rycroft tried to cross the busy motorway with his son, in a drunken state.

Callum, due to his disability, was unable to gauge the speed of passing cars. A vehicle crashed into the boy killing him instantly. 

Rycroft pleaded guilty to manslaughter, dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen. yesterday, Tuesday 5th September, via a video link from prison to Leeds Crown Court.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the boy "should have been under the protection of his father".

Tom Neofytou, from the CPS, said: "This is an absolutely tragic incident involving the death of a 12-year-old boy.

"His father's insistence on driving while under the influence of alcohol is beyond comprehension.

"Callum paid the ultimate price for his father's careless and criminal actions, and the rest of his family are left to mourn his loss."

Rycroft, from Leeds, had been drinking at his parents home in Huddersfield on August 5th with Callum, they advised him not to drive, offering him to stay at their place with his son. 

But he turned down their invitation and started to drive home with Callum.

"His parents called him and urged him to stop driving, but he paid no heed," the CPS said.

"Callum was heard in the background saying 'Dad... won't stop'. They also tried to follow him, but Rycroft ignored them, and his Audi was seen driving erratically in Huddersfield, before joining the M62 at junction 25."

Exiting the motorway for the Hartshead Services Rycroft misjudged a sharp bend on the slip road, the car overturned hitting a kerb.

The CPS said: "Rycroft and Callum then began to walk toward the main carriageway.

"Callum called his mother, and dialled 999, but Rycroft told him to end the call.

"They were seen to cross the motorway to the central reservation, and then for an unknown reason tried to run back."

[ Judge Rodney Jameson remanded Rycroft in custody until his sentencing, which he said would be no earlier than 19 September. ]

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