Police left man barefoot outside Iceland before hit-and-run death

Iceland Platt BridgeImage source, Google

Image caption,

Police dropped Gareth Roper outside Iceland in Platt Bridge, Wigan shortly before he was killed

A man was killed in a hit-and-run crash shortly after police left him barefoot outside an Iceland store three miles from home, a court has heard.

Gareth Roper was struck in Wigan by a Volvo driven by Jamie Evans, 30, and died later with severe head injuries.

Evans, who did not have a licence, admitted causing the death of Mr Roper, 35, by dangerous driving at Bolton Crown Court earlier this year.

He was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced on Tuesday.

The court heard how officers had attended Mr Roper’s home in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2022, after his wife reported he was “acting somewhat strangely”.

His children were woken during the disturbance and Mr Roper was taken away to “prevent any further difficulties”.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

The police officers who left Mr Roper are being investigated, the court heard

Sara Haque, prosecuting, said Mr Roper, a father of six, was de-arrested nine minutes later and was left outside the Iceland store in Platt Bridge, Wigan, Greater Manchester.

She said: “He was left barefoot and without any money or his mobile phone.

“The officers who left him at the scene are still under investigation.”

CCTV footage moments before the fatal crash just after 04:15 GMT showed Mr Roper walking along the centre of Lily Lane, Bamfurlong.

His jumper was tied around his waist and he could be heard whistling and clapping, the lawyer said.

‘No remorse’

The car was estimated to be travelling at 55mph in a 30mph zone. Evans drove off and handed himself in to police later that day.

In a victim statement read to the court, Mr Roper’s wife Rachel said: “Nobody expects that the police will come to your door and tell you your husband has been killed in a hit-and-run.

“He was only taken away about 45 minutes earlier and now I was being told he was dead.

She said she wanted to tell the driver he had “ruined a happy family with a hardworking dad”.

“He has taken all that away. He has shown no remorse. He just doesn’t care,” she added.

Image source, Google

Image caption,

Mr Roper was found lying on Lily Lane in Bamfurlong

The court heard the family had noted Evans had posted photographs on Facebook of himself partying, and in one post he had bragged that he would soon be going “on holiday” to Forest Bank prison.

Mr Clarke was told there was evidence that Evans had been drinking lager and spirits before the crash.

He was released on bail after his arrest in January 2022 but four months later got behind the wheel again and sped away in a van from a pursuing police vehicle, the court was told.

Evans, of no fixed address, was subsequently jailed for 26 weeks for that offence after he was convicted of dangerous driving, having no licence and failing to provide a specimen of breath.

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