Man jailed for 13 years after deliberately running over 33-year-old father of one in Dewsbury

Jaelen Herlt has been jailed for 13 years.
Jaelen Herlt has been jailed for 13 years.

The driver of a car which ran over and killed a 32-year-old father-of-one following a violent disorder outside a Dewsbury pub has today (Fri) been locked up for 13 years.

Jonathan Binns suffered "unsurvivable" multiple injuries after being deliberately hit by 19-year-old Jaelan Herlt's Ford Fiesta as he drove out of the car park of the Scarborough pub in Thornhill a year ago.

The Scarborough Hotel in Dewsbury.

The Scarborough Hotel in Dewsbury.

The now 20-year-old was cleared of murder earlier this week following a lengthy trial at Bradford Crown Court, but the jury found him guilty of manslaughter and violent disorder.
Herlt, of Derwent Road, Thornhill, was locked up after the Honourable Mr Justice Goss heard about the devastating impact of Mr Binns' death from his parents, sister and former partner.

The judge said Mr Binns' death was "an horrific and shocking event" which had been witnessed by many people and his life had been taken needlessly from him.

Judge Goss said the defendants had seen themselves as some kind of "gang of hard people" who were prepared to take on others who they considered some sort of challenge.

He said Herlt, who was banned from driving for more than nine years, had used the Fiesta as a weapon as he tried to escape from the pub car park.

Mr Binns' father David told the court that he still lived through the fateful night every day and described how he had gone to the pub car park to find his son lying in a pool of blood.

He said he knelt by his side and told his son to "hang in there", but he later had to make the final decision to turn off his life support after a long discussion with other members of the family.

Mr Binns said it was heartbreaking trying to explain to his son's three-year-old boy that his dad was "in the sky helping the angels".

"Now at the age of four he is asking when will the angels have finished with his daddy so he can come home?" said Mr Binns.

"These times are heartbreaking. Awakening every day looking at a photo of Jonathan and wishing he would walk through the door, to not being able to accept I will never be able to hold or talk to my son ever again."

Mr Binns' mum Kathryn Mawson said her world had been shattered forever by his death and she still had flashbacks of him in hospital wing kept alive by machines.

She said she remembered visiting him in the mortuary and being frightened to kiss her son.

"I constantly feel that I have let Jonathan down. Did we make the right decision in turning the life support off?" she told the court.

She said nobody had a bad word to say about her son and his death had left a huge void in all their lives.

"My family and I will never be able to mark milestones in any of our lives without Jonathan being there," she added.

"This whole incident has broken my family. Despite no remorse being shown I have no hatred towards the people that caused this devastation in all our lives.

"I still cannot believe that it is all real. We will miss him forever."

Mr Binns' former partner Nicola Hargreaves said it breaks her heart when her son asks when his dad is coming back out of the sky.

She explained how he became excited when he sees a star in the sky and shouts:"It's daddy. It's daddy."

"It kills me knowing all the things that Jonny will miss out on with his son and vice versa," she told the court.

Mr Binns' sister Tanya said the family had been torn apart by his death and asked:"Do the people that were involved feel as big and as hard as they did at the time of the incident and how are they feeling now knowing how they have broken a loving and caring family, left a young child with no dad and me with a huge hole where Jonathan my brother should still be and do they care?"

Herlt's front seat passenger Khaleem Harris, also 20, of North Road, Thornhill, was also acquitted on the murder charge, but convicted of manslaughter after he encouraged his friend to drive at their victim that night.

Harris, who admitted his role in the violent disorder part-way through the trial and was convicted of possessing an extendable baton during the disturbance, was also sentenced to 13 years detention in a young offender institution after the judge described him as the "main driving force" behind the events that night.

Judge Goss said Herlt had acted under Harris' direction and he had led by "bad example".

The court heard that the violence began that night in February when Harris' younger brother Kamrren, then 17, punched pub-goer Luke Carter in the face while he was wearing a knuckle-duster.

The blow fractured Mr Carter's jaw and Kamrren Harris, now 18, The Town, Thornhill, was found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm, violent disorder and possessing an offensive weapon.

The teenager was locked up for 27 months in a young offenders institution while another Harris brother, 20-year-old Kallum, of Ashfield, Thornhill, was also sentenced to 12 months detention after his conviction for violent disorder.

Jonathan Newby, 21, of Lees Hall Road, Thornhill, was jailed for 15 months after being found guilty of violent disorder and possessing a baton or a cosh while 19-year-old Ryan Scaife, of Partridge Crescent, Thornhill, received a 12-month sentence of detention for violent disorder.

Reece Hinchcliffe, 19, Doubting Road, Thornhill, was also convicted of violent disorder and he received eight months in a young offender institution while another youth, who was only 16 at the time of the disturbance, was given an eight-month detention and training order for the same offence.