Adam Jones was killed when he was struck by a Vauxhall Bora whose driver fled the scene of the collision. Pictures of the car, which were widely circulated in the search for the driver, show extensive damage to the vehicle.
In July 2016, 16 months after the incident, Tyrone Sadler was charged with causing death by driving a vehicle while unlicensed and causing death while driving without insurance. He denied both charges in court the following month.
In December of the same year, Judge Michael Challinor ruled that Sadler could not be tried for Adam’s death as there was insufficient evidence for trial by jury.
Sadler was alleged to have been driving the Bora closely behind a Ford Focus whose driver swerved to avoid Adam at the last moment, leaving himself under a second to react and respond. CCTV showed the car travelling at or below the speed limit 500 metres before the collision, but did not show the collision itself.
The abandoned car contained a coat on which Sadler’s DNA was found, and his credit card. Sadler’s mobile phone was used at Bristnall Hall Road (5-6 miles from the collision site) less than 40 minutes prior to the collision, and again near the collision site “moments later” (presumably moments later than the collision). Half an hour later there was “a flurry of calls from another phone attributed to him”. Sadler reported the car stolen the following day. His defence “did not suggest the Bora was driven by anyone else”.
Judge Challinor said that “there was a ‘wealth of information’ that the defendant was the driver…but [he] could not be held legally responsible for the crash”, adding that “in simple terms the police expert says this was not the fault of the defendant”. He said that “for the case to go to trial there had to be evidence of an element of fault in the driving of the accused in connection with the tragedy”, and that the evidence “had to be more than simply being in the car that struck the victim”.
West Midlands Police said that “the case will now be reviewed as a matter of course”.