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The owner of the car with cheated tires is imprisoned for a fatal accident…even though he wasn’t driving at the time


The owner of the car with cheated tires is imprisoned for a fatal accident…even though he wasn’t driving at the time

  • Henry Reynolds was in the passenger seat of a Mercedes saloon while his drunk friend TJ Sam Quirke was driving his car.
  • It’s a “fish tail” and the tires lost their grip on the road, causing it to crash into another car
  • Winston Chao, 36, who was driving the other car, died at the scene, and his mother, Cam, 59, sustained life-changing injuries.
  • Reynolds was jailed for two years and six months for causing the death of another driver in a landmark case










A car owner who ignored a warning to replace dangerously worn tires has been jailed for causing the death of another driver despite not being behind the wheel at the time.

The landmark case was brought against Henry Reynolds, who was in the front passenger seat of his powerful Mercedes saloon while his drunk friend was driving.

In wet weather, the car “fishtail,” meaning the worn rear tires lost their grip on the road, and collided head-on with a car driven by Winston Chau, 36. He died at the scene and his mother Cam, now 59, suffered life-changing injuries.

Reynolds, 31, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting to cause death through dangerous driving and a similar charge of causing serious injury. But the judge struggled in sentencing him for lack of guidelines for the highly unusual case.

Lawyers could not find precedents before Judge Michael Kaye imposed a 30-month prison sentence.

Last night Mister Zhao’s family was relieved that Reynolds was going to serve some time but said the sentence was too light. His brother Lee, 42, an IT engineer, said: “He is responsible for killing my brother. He will stay inside for a maximum of 15 months with good behavior. We will be affected for the rest of our lives.

The landmark case has been filed against Henry Reynolds (pictured), who was in the front passenger seat of the Mercedes powerhouse in Redbourne, Hertfordshire, while a drunk friend was driving

He wasn’t the driver but he was in charge of that car. He knew the tires were at the end of their lives.

Reynolds, an unemployed father of two, spent the day drinking with a friend, TJ truck driver Sam Quirke, in May 2018 before they went to get food.

CCTV footage from Redbourne, Hertfordshire, showed the rear of the car skidding as it turned around a roundabout.

Quirke, who exceeded the drink limit, accelerated to more than 65 mph in a 30 mph zone before veering into the opposite lane. The car was still running between 43 and 53 mph when it collided with a Honda Civic with Chaos inside.

Emergency workers were unable to save Mr. Zhao, who was working at EasyJet’s Luton base where his mother was a cleaner.

CCTV footage from Redbourne, Hertfordshire, showed the rear of the car (pictured) sliding as it turned around a roundabout.

CCTV footage from Redbourne, Hertfordshire, showed the rear of the car (pictured) sliding as it turned around a roundabout.

Albans Crown Court heard the car had a MoT three months ago when Reynolds, of London Colney, was told the rear tire tread was close to the limit.

But he failed to change it and drove another 6,726 miles before the fatal accident.

Quirk, 29, of Redburn, was jailed for 63 months in November last year after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and other offences.

Professor Sally Kidd, Head of Law at the University of Leicester, claimed that the 1861 Act allows a judge to sentence an offender to the maximum penalty as if he had committed the crime himself, in this case up to 14 years in prison.

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