Welsh TV boss faces jail over motorcycle fatal crash.
A top tv executive is facing jail after being found guilty of causing a young motorcyclist's death by dangerous driving. Dafydd Evans, 41, a key figure at Llanelli TV production firm Tinopolis, left the scene as Darran Beynon, 24, was dead, or dying, in the roadway.
Former BBC journalist Evans, who had been drinking, had pulled onto the A40 at Dryslwyn in October 2004 into the path of Mr Beynon's motorcycle.
Evans, of Penylan, Cardiff, claimed he was disorientated by the car smash which turned Mr Beynon's Yamaha motorbike into a fireball.
He then claimed he spent 14 hours face down in a muddy field, not hearing police helicopters and not seeing police dog teams sent to look for him.
He handed himself in at Carmarthen Police Station the following morning where he tested negative for alcohol and blamed Mr Beynon's speed for the crash.
He denied causing death by dangerous driving.
But a jury at Swansea Crown Court yesterday found him guilty by a 10-2 majority verdict.
He was granted bail while sentencing was adjourned for three weeks for reports but Judge Eleri Rees said she did not want that to 'raise his expectations'.
And she added, 'I take it he has been warned of the likely sentence.'
The fatal smash happened when Evans was returning in his company issue silver Mercedes from a christening reception at a Llandeilo hotel with his best friend, Henry Jones-Davies, editor of Cambria magazine and Mr Davies's 11-year-old son as passengers.
Evans admitted drinking a pint of Guinness at a pub before having a glass of red wine at the reception but denied being over the legal limit for driving.
Witnesses however, including fellow Tinopolis staff, testified that Evans had drunk some champagne and white wine.
He and Mr Jones-Davies called at a pub outside Llandeilo after the reception with Evans claiming he just wanted to 'see the ambience' and to show his friend the pub for a possible magazine article.
But finding it was closed they carried along a side road to the A40 where Mr Beynon, of Five Roads, Llanelli, was on a Sunday ride with others in the motorbike club the Mynydd Mawr Riders.
Witnesses described how his Yamaha machine exploded into flames on impact.
Mr Beynon was catapulted into undergrowth and was declared dead at the scene where Mr Jones-Davies said a prayer for the motorcyclist.
Mr Jones-Davies, who had had special forces training with the Turkish army and had also worked for BP in Algeria, told the court he was concerned about his young son's reaction to the tragedy and called his wife to collect them and take them home which she did before police arrived at the crash scene.
When the police did arrive Evans was nowhere to be seen and the two-hour helicopter and dog team hunt for him began.
He told the jury he was concussed and wandered into nearby fields after his glasses were squashed into his face by the car's airbag.
He said he managed to find his way to Mr Jones-Davies's house three miles away in Nantgaredig at 7am the next morning and handed himself in to police soon after.
But the jury was told by Geraint Walters, prosecuting, that there were no footprints in the field and the dogs could find no scent leading them to Evans.
The helicopters used 'nightsun' searchlights and infra-red displays but could not locate him near the scene.
During the trial, Geraint Walters, prosecuting, put it to Mr Jones-Davies that he had helped his friend leave the crash site - an accusation he denied.
He said the next time he saw his friend after the accident was when he walked into his house 'looking wild' the next morning and he advised Evans to go straight to the police.
Ronald Thwaites, defending, told the court Evans was 'a broken man' since the accident and had not been able to face driving since.
Evans, director of development at Tinopolis, which makes programmes for the BBC, ITV, S4C and Channel 4, often broke down crying while giving evidence. He said since the accident he went to his office but could not do any work because he constantly thought of the crash.
He told the court he had made a normal turn onto the A40 and said of the approaching motorcycles, 'They were fastest I had ever seen... the only way I can describe it is that it was like standing next to a racetrack.'
Denying that he had deliberately tried to avoid police after the accident he said, 'I think the death of any 24-year-old man is a huge tragedy. I wish I could spin the tape back. But his death was no doing of mine.'
Tinopolis, which has now bought the company which makes TV's Question Time, did not issue a statement after yesterday's verdict.
Mr Beynon's family left court without making comment.
Sentence will be at Swansea Crown Court.
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|Publication:||Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Date:||Jan 25, 2006|
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