ON Saturday, June 23, 2012, a young man was driving back home to his parents house in Wonford on his moped, after a shift at the Tesco superstore up the road.
But the 20-year-old did not arrive home that evening.
A collision occurred on a sharp bend of Ludwell Lane between the moped and a Ford Transit van and Steven Davidson-Hackett died.
The driver of the van, Jack Taylor, 26, from Exmouth, a Royal Marine with 42 Commando based at Bickleigh Barracks near Plymouth has appeared in court charged with offences relating to his death, which he denies.
He appeared in the dock alongside David Marriott, 25, also from Exmouth, who faces related charges, which he denies.
A trial date was set for September but then subsequently postponed by four months until this month.
It is understood that the delay was requested by a defence barrister as he would have been unable to attend the September trial.
Now, after legal argument regarding the charges over three days, the case has been adjourned indefinitely while the prosecution seek clarification on a matter – which cannot be reported.
It is likely that a ruling by the court will not be made until April, after which time there may be a further delay if the matter is referred for further consideration.
If this happens, the case could be delayed by another few months.
The next available court date at Exeter is not until September, but Steven’s father Ray explained that, whatever the outcome of the legal discussions, he does not expect the case to return to court until this time next year – over two-and-a-half years after his son’s death.
On behalf of Steven’s family, Mr Davidson-Hackett has expressed his dismay and grief at the painful wait.
“We’re back to stage one,” said the 51-year-old who was in court with his wife and daughter and close family friends on each of the three days the case was heard this month. “We can’t move on,” he continued.
“Although we can’t blame anyone for the procedure, it’s excruciatingly unkind.”
Mr Davidson-Hackett said the delay was making the grieving process for his family more difficult.
And until the court case is completed, an inquest into Steven’s death cannot proceed either.
He previously said he had thought come the new year, the court side of things would be over.
“We feel empty,” he said. “We thought by the end of January the case would have been heard and we would be able to put the grieving process to its final stage.
“But, now we face it all being dragged up again more than two years on.
“We still have no closure, as a family we need closure.”