A mother has told a motorcyclist who crashed near Beverley killing her son and his good friend to go on and live "a happy and successful life".

Jack Lees, 24, collided with a fence on the B1230 between Walkington and Beverley on the night of Friday, March 8, 2019.

The crash resulted in the death of his pillion passenger Ciaran Shannon who was only 20-years-old at the time.

Both had had a couple of drinks in the town centre that night, Lees admitting he drank up to five bottles of Stella as well as taking a quantity of cocaine.

Despite this, Mr Shannon was seen getting on the back of Lees’ orange Quingqi motorbike without a helmet or the rear passenger pegs installed.

“The bike itself was not safe to carry a pillion passenger,” said Judge David Tremberg QC at Hull Crown Court.

“As you [Lees] know riding this bike required a crash helmet so that in the event of an accident there may be some protection.

“You were wearing one yourself. Your passenger was not.

“In Beverley, you were seen with Ciaran on the back of your bike with his legs out front as you rode along. Riding a bike in those circumstances created an entirely unacceptable risk.”

Jack Lees was sentenced to 30 months in prison

The pair left Beverley at around 11pm that night and rode along the B1230 road, travelling at what was estimated to be the correct speed of around 40mph.

Coming up to a left bend, a witness spotted Lees’ bike in his rear view mirror and looked set to overtake.

After making the turn, the driver in front noticed the bike veer off across the opposite carriageway and out of sight, where it mounted the kerb striking a fence and ending up in a field.

Judge Tremberg said: “The conclusion is that the likely combination of instability of you, the bike, your passenger and intoxication caused you to lose control in this way.”

The driver of the car in front stopped in a layby and rushed back to the scene of the accident where he found Mr Shannon lying unresponsive on the ground.

Lees appeared to be unconscious lying next to his bike with the witness describing him as being “confused and disorientated”.

“I didn’t mean to do this,” Lees told witnesses. “I just do stupid things.”

Emergency services arrived at the scene and despite efforts to resuscitate Mr Shannon he was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.

Police carried out a roadside breathalyser test on Lees which came back with a reading of 45 micrograms per 100ml. The legal limit is 35.

Lees pleaded guilty to causing death by driving without care or consideration whilst under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

At Hull Crown Court on Monday, October 23, an emotional and heart breaking statement was read out by Ciaran’s mum Sarah Shannon.

She described how her family do not place all the blame on Lees and that she hopes he will go on to live “a happy and successful” life and to become a champion for motorcycle safety in the future.

The B1230 between Beverley and Walkington
The B1230 between Beverley and Walkington

She also described how both her and Jack sobbed together when he told her what had happened.

“Ciaran was not a man, he was my baby,” said Sarah.

“Ciaran and Jack both made a devastating decision that night.

“Jack absolutely broke my heart in that phone call. He sobbed, I sobbed. His remorse was genuine I have no doubt about that.

“Jack turned up to his funeral surrounded by Ciaran’s friends and family to pay his respects even though he felt uncomfortable. I thank him for that. Ciaran would have wanted him there.

“Jack has never doubted his responsibility. He will live with the fact that he was there when his friend died. Both families have suffered.

“As a family we do not feel like victims to Jack. We are victims to what both of them participated in.

Ciaran was just 20 years old
Ciaran was just 20 years old

“Jack has to live for both himself and Ciaran now. He has learned a very hard lesson. I would like him to be happy and successful.

“A custodial sentence is enough punishment but losing a friend is much worse.

“This one night should not define the rest of Jack’s life.”

Addressing Lees in the dock, Judge Tremberg told him there was no sentence that could “place value on a human life”.

“No sentence that this court passes can undo the unrepairable and catastrophic harm you have done,” he added.

“Notwithstanding the fact that Ciaran was a good friend of yours and that his family bear you no ill will and that you bitterly and genuinely regret what you have done.

“Your reckless disregard for our traffic laws for the safety of yourself, your pillion passenger and other road users cannot be overlooked by this court.

“This tragedy was avoidable and unnecessary. It is a case where there are no winners but only losers.

“It is so serious that only immediate custody is appropriate.”

Lees was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment, which he will serve half in custody and the remainder on licence.

He has also been disqualified from driving for three years and 15 months.