A man who killed a young father by driving into him has been jailed for 12 years.
A jury cleared Water Brazil of the murder of Charlie Hancock but found him guilty of manslaughter following the 20-year-old’s death on May 13 last year.
Brazil, 42, of Collyer Avenue in Bognor, denied murdering Mr Hancock but was jailed for 12 years at Lewes Crown Court yesterday.
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The court heard how the pair were travelling in a Chrysler Voyager vehicle being driven by Brazil before they began arguing and Mr Hancock got out of the car.
Brazil then hit him with the car and drove off, leaving him dying in the road. He dialled 999 from his home and said he had hit “an unknown person” but drove off because he had “panicked”.
Before police had visited his home, he put his clothes in the washing machine, telling the court it was because “they smelled of cannabis”.
The jury were told that Brazil had changed his story in face-to-face interviews with police and said he had been in his silver Chrysler Voyager with Mr Hancock in Rowan Way when an argument broke out.
Brazil claimed he had been punched by Mr Hancock after a dispute about a drug deal.
He also claimed that his victim had jumped from the car while it was travelling about 30mph but forensic collision investigation revealed that the car was moving much more slowly.
Mr Hancock was severely injured but still alive when Brazil drove off, leaving the former Chichester College pupil lying in the carriageway.
He died hours later in St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.
After the case, Detective Inspector Wendy Burton from Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team said: “We are pleased that Charlie’s family have got justice for his death.
“This has been a difficult time for them and our thoughts and sympathies are with them.”