A Northamptonshire Police Detective Inspector has warned of the costly consequences of taking the law into your own hands following the sentencing of the man guilty of the manslaughter of Stuart Hutchings.
Speaking after 28-year-old David Barnes was given nine years in prison at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday afternoon DI Stuart Hitchon, from the county's major crime unit, spoke of the tragedy facing the Hutchings family following his death in May 2017.
Mr Hutchings was driving a motorbike without a crash helmet of protective clothing when he was struck by Barnes' red Ford Fiesta after a 1.5 mile-long, 60mph chase in a residential area with a 30mph speed limit.
Barnes had driven from his home in Daventry to try to locate his brother's stolen motorcycle after reports it had been spotted in the St James area of Northampton, rather than inform the police of the bike's potential whereabouts.
DI Hitchon said: "This has clearly been a very tragic case where a young man, Stuart Hutchings, has sadly lost his life. He was only 22 years old.
"Even though the case has concluded today the family remain devastated knowing that they'll never see Stuart again.
"His daughter was only born a few weeks ago so she'll grow up without her father.
"David Barnes has today been sentenced to nine years for manslaughter and I think this goes to show the serious consequences you pay if you take the law into your own hands. You pay the ultimate price."
He added: "The most complicated part of this case was determining whether Mr Hutchings was knocked off the bike deliberately and we've had to rely heavily on expert advice from our collision experts from the defence and from the prosecution.
"And ultimately looking at their evidence and their reports we cannot comfortably say that Mr Hutchings was deliberately knocked off the bike."
He continued: "I think it was probably a chance meeting that they did see the motorcycle and it looks like it's a deliberate and reckless chase after the bike to try and retrieve, but the manner of the driving was extremely dangerous within a residential area.
"These are the consequences you could face if you take the law into your own hands. What they should have done was contact the police to let them know that the bike was in that are so we could go out and deal with it as we should."