An Amazon delivery driver has been jailed for causing the death of a motorcyclist because he was using Snapchat while driving.

Daniaal Iqbal, 23, had the app on his mobile phone open for half a minute when his transit van crossed the central line into the path of Peter Rushforth, 56, on a North Yorkshire country road, York Crown Court heard.

The deceased man’s partner for 14 years, who has multiple sclerosis, told the court his death left her without her carer and her future husband.

“When I lost Peter, I felt like I lost my life,” she said in a personal statement.

“We had planned to get married and have holidays abroad, maybe go to festivals and motorbike rallies and spending quality time together.”

She described how her Ripon partner would help her go for walks, do housework, sort out her finances and other domestic matters.

Det Sgt Kristine Aldridge, of North Yorkshire Police’s major collision investigation team, said: “This is yet another fatal collision caused by a driver who refused to listen to the warnings about the risk of using a mobile while driving and chose to blatantly disregard the law.

“Very sadly it’s Peter Rushforth who has paid the price for Daniaal Iqbal’s poor decision-making. To lose someone in a traffic collision is devastating.

“But to know that it was entirely avoidable and was caused by someone who believed sending a message was more important than their safety is galling.

“I hope the sentence handed to Daniaal Iqbal makes those drivers who may take that chance and use their mobile behind the wheel just stop and think for a moment. When you’re driving, please put your phone away – another person’s life could depend on it.”

Iqbal, of Toller Lane, Bradford, denied causing Mr Rushforth’s death by dangerous driving on Kirkby Road, Ripon, claiming that he was not using his mobile phone, but was convicted by a York jury in August who heard expert telephone evidence gathered by the police.

Judge Simon Hickey told Iqbal: “People speak very highly of you and there is another side to your character. Undoubtedly you are a decent young man.

“But for causing the death of an individual in the way you did, only a sentence of immediate custody can follow.

“It is serious culpable behaviour driving while holding a mobile phone.

Mr Rushforth had “in no way caused or contributed to what happened or his death,” the judge said.

He jailed Iqbal for three and a half years and banned him from driving for 45 months. Iqbal must take an extended driving test before driving alone again.

Defence barrister Felicia Davy said Iqbal had completed a two-year law course since the crash in 2019 and had been hoping to take a law degree but realised his conviction would impact his career plans.

Iqbal was doing his second day’s work as a Amazon driver.