A DRUG driver who caused a horror crash that killed a much-loved father and husband has been jailed.

A court heard that Trevor Long had been ‘fiddling with his radio’ in a van that was not roadworthy when he struck his cyclist victim who later died.

In a poignant victim personal statement John Howes' widow said the family had been left 'devastated' by their loss.

The 42-year-old of Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, admitted at Oxford Crown Court today one count of causing death by dangerous driving and he was sentenced at the same hearing.

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Outlining the case prosecutor Jonathan Stone said the fatal crash took place on October 28 last year along the B4044 Eynsham Road, near Farmoor.

At about 6.30pm Long was driving a white van and Mr Howes was riding his bicycle on the same road in the same direction.

Mr Howes, 58, had finished work that night at the Nuffield College where he was a porter and was on his way home and the court heard his bicycle would have been illuminated on the front and the back.

Long’s van, a company vehicle, was not roadworthy, and had defects including a broken head lamp and a defective tyre.

During the fatal incident, prosecutors said, Long was ‘fiddling with his radio’ and claimed to have not seen the cyclist before striking him.

Mr Howes struck his head after being hit, and was later taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital where he died.

Long was tested at the roadside and metabolites for cocaine were found to be in his system, above the legal limit for the class A drug.

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Prosecutors also said that Long has a number of previous crimes to his name, made up of 19 convictions for 42 offences.

It was revealed that while none involved driving offences he has a number of drug-related crimes in his past.

In an emotional victim personal statement from Mr Howes' widow Lucy she said ‘to say I am devastated is an understatement.’

She described her husband as her ‘best friend’ and said ‘without John there is very little point in going on but I must.’

In mitigation Mark Rhind, defending, said that his client was remorseful for what he had done and had taken the drugs which were later found in his system, on the Saturday before the crash and not the same day.

He said: “He [is] so sorry for what happened, he knows he has caused misery and if there was any way he could take it back he would do, but of course tragically he can’t.”

Sentencing, Judge Peter Ross said taking cocaine in the days before the crash was ‘sheer folly.’

He said: “Your driving simply obliterated the happiness and devotion about which we have heard."

Long was jailed for five years and four months and he was disqualified from driving for five years.

He must also pay a statutory victim surcharge.