Boston

Drink driver who caused fatal crash jailed for seven years

A drink driver who caused a head-on collision, which left a widow dead and her friend seriously injured, has been jailed for seven years after a hearing at Lincoln Crown Court.

Ricky Lee Nicholls, who had two previous convictions for drink driving, drove at almost 80mph as he made his way home from a house warming party in the village of Kirton near Boston.

He took a bend on the wrong side of the road and drove straight into the path of a car driven by widow Jenny Rose, 78.

Mrs Rose suffered fatal injuries and her passenger William Marriott, 70, was left seriously injured. The pair were returning from a night out at bingo.

Mark Watson, prosecuting, said: “The defendant had been to a house warming party and had been drinking. He had been driving with a passenger, Tracey Brown. There was something of a dispute between the two of them resulting in her getting out of the car before the collision.

“The defendant failed to negotiate a sweeping left-hand bend. He went straight through the curve entering entirely on the wrong side of the road. Jenny Rose was driving well within the speed limit. She was on her correct side of the road. The impact was a head-on collision. There was catastrophic damage to both vehicles and Mrs Rose passed away at the scene.”

When Nicholls was breath-tested he produced a reading of 89mgs of alcohol per 100mls of blood compared to the legal limit of 35mgs.

Accident investigators said that Nicholls was driving at just under 80mph in a 50mph limit.

But he claimed afterwards that Mrs Rose caused the collision saying she was not looking where she was driving and her passenger was frantically grabbing at the steering wheel. In court he accepted his memory was false and that he was responsible for what happened.

The court was told that Nicholls had previous convictions for drink driving in 1994 and 1996.

Ricky Lee Nicholls, 42, of London Road, Wyberton, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Jenny Rose by dangerous driving and to causing serious injury by dangerous driving to William Marriott following a collision on the B1397 London Road, Sutterton, on August 25, 2018.

He was jailed for seven years and banned from driving for nine years.

Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, told him: “Through your speeding, drunken and dangerous driving you have left a trail of carnage behind. You should never have been behind the wheel.”

Michael Cranmer-Brown, in mitigation, said that Nicholls now accepts that he was to blame for the collision.

“He plainly has a completely false memory of what happened. He is extremely remorseful. He understands the profound upset and anger that the relatives of the deceased will feel towards him. He is ashamed. He knows he has to be punished for what he did.”

Coral Rose, one of Mrs Roses’ three children, said in a victim impact statement: “She was the kindest, most beautiful, caring, selfless mum anyone could wish for. She was the beating heart of our family.

“I have so much anger at him. He is a worthless, selfish individual who is responsible for the death of my mum. No sentence will be long enough to bring us justice. I hope that everyday for the rest of his life he is haunted by this.”