A 74-year-old driver has been jailed for five years for "gambling with the lives" of several adults and children by overtaking two cars at a blind bend.

Americo Barbacane killed 41-year-old former RAF serviceman and father-of-three Paul Sprakes by crashing into him at the end of what Judge Guy Kearl QC called "persistent and deliberate" dangerous driving on the B1222 near Sherburn-in-Elmet.

Mr Sprakes and his wife of many years, Suzanne, were just about to exchange contracts on a new house having recently moved to the small town, York Crown Court heard.

Barbacane showed no reaction as the court was read her account of how the family's happy future had fallen apart financially and emotionally with Mr Sprakes' death.

"We will miss everything about him, his organisational skills, family holidays with everyone together, our long walks with the dogs .... his loving, caring nature, his total honesty with everyone," said Mrs Sprakes in a victim impact statement.

She described how Mr Sprakes had been a cautious man in everything, including always checking his brakes before going out in a vehicle and meticulously researched family outings on the internet.

The judge said a "red mist descended" on Barbacane when his Alfa Romeo was overtaken just outside the town by an Astra and he had decided to overtake it and another car.

"You gambled with his (Mr Sprakes) life and indeed with your own and indeed with that of Mrs Hill who was in the car driving along behind the motorcycle of Mr Sprakes and indeed with her children who were in the car also," he told Barbacane. "You could have killed any or all, including yourself."

Barbacane, of Leeds, denied death by dangerous driving on August 21, 2014, but was convicted by a jury on Thirsday.  In addition to the five-year jail sentence, he was banned from driving for five years and ordered to retake his driving test.

His barrister Mark McKone said: "It is likely his driving is over." Barbacane would find it almost impossible to get car insurance in future, he said.

Prison life would be harder for him than a younger man. He was suffering from depression and had visited the scene of the crash twice to lay flowers. He apologised for Mr Sprakes's death.

Senior investigating officer Zoe Billings, of North Yorkshire Police's major collision investigation team, said: "Today’s outcome sends a clear message of the deadly consequences of taking chances on the roads.

“My thanks go to Mr Sprakes’ family who have suffered immensely, yet have shown great patience and courage over the past 18 months as the investigation progressed, and to the witnesses who gave evidence in the case.

“Nothing can compensate or bring their much loved husband and father back, but I hope the fact that now justice has been done, it will offer the family some comfort knowing that someone has been held accountable for shattering their lives and that they can now start to move on.”