Police appeal to trace killer driver Ryan Gilling
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Police have appealed for help to trace a killer driver.
Ryan Gilling was jailed in January 2017 after admitting causing death by dangerous driving the previous November.
Father-of-three Tony Stokoe, 50, died after his Seat Ibiza was hit by a speeding car driven by Gilling.
Teesside Crown Court heard the then 26-year-old Gilling, of Manor House Estate, Shotton Colliery, had fled the scene of the smash in the village's Salter's Lane, but was arrested after admitting himself to hospital, where suspicious staff called police.
The court heard Gilling had completed a previous driving ban just two weeks before the crash, and among his other convictions was one for using a handheld mobile phone while driving.
Prosecutor David Crook told the court: "The BMW driven by Gilling was doing up to 70mph in the 40mph zone when it lost control in wet weather.
"It was on the wrong side of the road when it collided head-on with Mr Stokoe's Ibiza.
"His car was propelled backwards by the impact into a brick bus shelter, which collapsed and fell on his car.
"The BMW was also propelled backwards into a following car, causing that car to be written off."
In a statement read to the court, Mr Stokoe's widow Marie said: "I have lost my best friend, my soul mate, the only man I wanted to spend my life with.
"I spend my time counting down the days until we can be together again.
"Tony's death has been incomprehensible for the whole family.
"A trivial trip to buy work boots has become quite simply the most devastating trip our family has been on.
"We will be victims forever."
Now Durham Constabulary has appealed to the public for help to trace Gilling, who is wanted on recall to prison.
He is described as around 5ft 10inches, with blue eyes and a North East accent and is known to have links to Peterlee.
Anyone who sees him or knows where hei is should contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or by visiting their website, http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/giv.../most-wanted/appeal.