Driver in court charged with killing dad in hit-and-run incident

The scene of the hit-and-run on Victoria Road West, Hebburn, which left Gavin Bolam, 56, of Hartleyburn Avenue in Hebburn, dead.
The scene of the hit-and-run on Victoria Road West, Hebburn, which left Gavin Bolam, 56, of Hartleyburn Avenue in Hebburn, dead.

A driver has appeared in court accused of killing a dad-of-two in a hit-and-run horror crash in South Tyneside.

Gavin Bolam was walking home after a night out with friends when he was struck by a car which then drove off in Victoria Road West, Hebburn at about 12.15am on Saturday, April 9.

Warm tributes have been paid to dad-of-two Gavin Bolam

Warm tributes have been paid to dad-of-two Gavin Bolam

The 56-year-old print worker, from Hartleyburn Avenue Hebburn, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Allen Hale, of Appleby Gardens, Gateshead, appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday facing a string of motoring charges - including causing Mr Bolam’s death by dangerous driving.

The 39-year-old is also accused of driving a Mercedes Benz dangerously on Prince Consort Road, Caledonian Street and Argyle Street, all in Hebburn, and failing to provide a specimen for analysis, both on the same date.

He is also charged with two counts of failing to stop after road accidents, one in relation to the death of Mr Bolam and another in connection with injuries caused to another man and woman in Prince Consort Road, both on April 9.

My invitation is for you to send the matter to crown court.

Rebecca Laverick

He was not asked to enter pleas during a brief hearing at the court, with all matters sent to Newcastle Crown Court due to the seriousness of the charges.

Family members of Mr Bolam packed into the public gallery to witness the hearing.

Rebecca Laverick, prosecuting, told magistrates: “My invitation is for you to send the matter to crown court, with the linked offences.

“The charges are all sufficiently linked.”

Geoffrey Forrester, defending, agreed that the case should be heard at the crown court.

Irene Lavender, prosecuting, sent all matters to Newcastle Crown Court, with an initial hearing taking place on Tuesday, September 27.

Hale was granted unconditional bail until then.

Mr Bolam, who had two daughters, was hailed as a ‘kind and compassionate’ man who was ‘simply the best’ in an emotional tribute paid by his devastated family after his death.