Smiling boy racer posted videos of himself speeding before killing pedestrian and then throwing phone away

"He obviously has a penchant for driving fast, by the looks of it, dangerously fast."
Brandon South is estimated to have been travelling at speeds of 74 miles per hour (mph) in the seconds before he mounted a grass verge and pavement on Haugh Road in Rawmarsh, Rotherham - which is subject to a 40mph limit - and hit Robert Chessman, causing fatal injuries.Brandon South is estimated to have been travelling at speeds of 74 miles per hour (mph) in the seconds before he mounted a grass verge and pavement on Haugh Road in Rawmarsh, Rotherham - which is subject to a 40mph limit - and hit Robert Chessman, causing fatal injuries.
Brandon South is estimated to have been travelling at speeds of 74 miles per hour (mph) in the seconds before he mounted a grass verge and pavement on Haugh Road in Rawmarsh, Rotherham - which is subject to a 40mph limit - and hit Robert Chessman, causing fatal injuries.

A callous boy racer posted videos of himself driving at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour on social media in the hours before he killed a beloved pedestrian, after carrying out a 'dangerous overtaking manoeuvre' causing him to 'lose control' of his vehicle.

Brandon South is estimated to have been travelling at speeds of 74 miles per hour (mph) in the seconds before he mounted a grass verge and pavement on Haugh Road in Rawmarsh, Rotherham - which is subject to a 40mph limit - and hit pedestrian Robert Chessman, causing fatal injuries.

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In a statement from the 'close family' of Mr Chessman, who was just 43 when he died, they said he was 'an important person in many people’s lives'. 

Brandon South is estimated to have been travelling at speeds of 74 miles per hour (mph) in the seconds before he mounted a grass verge and pavement on Haugh Road in Rawmarsh, Rotherham - which is subject to a 40mph limit - and hit Robert Chessman, causing fatal injuries.Brandon South is estimated to have been travelling at speeds of 74 miles per hour (mph) in the seconds before he mounted a grass verge and pavement on Haugh Road in Rawmarsh, Rotherham - which is subject to a 40mph limit - and hit Robert Chessman, causing fatal injuries.
Brandon South is estimated to have been travelling at speeds of 74 miles per hour (mph) in the seconds before he mounted a grass verge and pavement on Haugh Road in Rawmarsh, Rotherham - which is subject to a 40mph limit - and hit Robert Chessman, causing fatal injuries.

A Sheffield Crown Court hearing held on March 1, 2024, heard how after speeding around the Rotherham village of Rawmarsh for around half an hour, South carried out what the Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson KC, described as a 'dangerous' overtaking manoeuvre in his blue Skoda Fabia vehicle, which would prove to be fatal. 

Describing the circumstances of the crash, which took place at around 1.25pm on January 7, 2022, Judge Richardson continued: "He’s driving around the residential area at the Rawmarsh district, at high speeds, getting up to 80 miles per hour (mph) at one point.

"Having gone into that residential area, he drives around, does a U-turn, goes along Haugh Road, as he approaches what is a right-hand bend…there are two cars ahead of him on his side. He dangerously executes a fast overtaking manoeuvre of those two cars. Coming round the corner - as one might expect in the middle of the day - is another car."

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CCTV played to the court showed how, at this point, South appeared to be seconds away from a head-on collision with the vehicle coming in the opposite direction.

Judge Richardson continued: "The defendant tucks in, because of this dangerous manoeuvre, over compensates and effectively loses control of the car and mounts a grass verge and pavement, near to a junction - from which a pedestrian is coming - and sadly kills him."

Prosecutor, Jemima Stephenson, described how following the crash, police were able to recover two videos South, then aged 21, had posted to his social media account on the same day as the crash. 

She said that while it 'appears' the clips were posted on the same day as the fatal crash, it had 'not been possible to obtain an accurate time or date'. 

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"There are two videos showing the defendant driving at high speed," Ms Stephenson said, adding that the speedometer could be seen reaching 80mph in one of the clips.

After watching the videos South took of himself speeding in his car, with one hand on his phone and one hand on the steering wheel, Judge Richardson observed: "He obviously has a penchant for driving fast, by the looks of it, dangerously fast."

Ms Stephenson said one of the clips shows South 'deactivating’ the traction control. 

When asked by Judge Richardson why South’s deactivation of the traction control was relevant, she replied: "My understanding is it assists the car when travelling at speed and maintaining traction."

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"It may well have contributed to the loss of traction," Ms Stephenson said. 

Following the crash, witnesses observed South, of Middle Avenue, Rawmarsh, Rotherham, 'throwing his phone into a bush'.

Kind-hearted members of the public came to Mr Chessman’s aid, calling the emergency services and attempting CPR, but he sadly could not be saved. 

Witnesses who observed South’s driving in the half an hour before the fatal crash described South driving in a 'fast manner,' with one reporting seeing smoke come from his vehicle, and also said they were still able to hear his 'engine revving' after he had sped away. 

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Ms Stephenson said South’s car was examined, and while it was not found to have any mechanical defects, all four of his tyres were 'under-inflated'. 

In particular, his rear offside tyre was 41 per cent under-inflated, she said.  

During his first police interview, South claimed he was on the way to the gym at the time of the accident, and had been 'devastated' to learn of Ms Chessman’s death.

South, now aged 22, pleaded guilty to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing. 

Judge Richardson sentenced 22-year-old Brandon South to seven years, six months behind barsJudge Richardson sentenced 22-year-old Brandon South to seven years, six months behind bars
Judge Richardson sentenced 22-year-old Brandon South to seven years, six months behind bars
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Judge Richardson sentenced South to seven years, six months behind bars. 

South was also made the subject of a five-year driving ban, with a three year, nine month extension to reflect the amount of time he is likely to serve in prison, bringing the total length of the ban to eight years, nine months. 

South will be required to take an extended retest, should he wish to legally drive again, and must also pay a victim surcharge of £190 upon his release from custody.