Boston

Drunk driver ‘mounted kerb and sent pedestrian flying’ in fatal crash

A drunken driver, who got behind the wheel after downing nine pints of lager, mounted the kerb and knocked over a pedestrian leaving his victim with fatal injuries, Lincoln Crown Court was told on Wednesday.

Lee Blatchford lost control of his Range Rover as he drove along Sleaford Road, Boston at the end of a day when he had spent four hours in a pub.

Derek Johashen, prosecuting, said Blatchford’s vehicle was speeding when it struck David Scott, 37, who was walking on the pavement, sending him flying through the air.

Mr Johashen said: “Neil Panther (who was walking on the pavement with the victim) describes himself suddenly being pushed into a hedge. He saw David Scott flying six feet into the air. Mr Scott was hit by a car. The vehicle was the defendant’s 4×4 Range Rover. It didn’t stop.

“Following the collision that vehicle swerved back onto the road and crossed into the opposite carriageway towards oncoming traffic. He narrowly avoided a collision before swerving back.”

Mr Scott was taken to the Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, where he was found to have suffered a traumatic brain injury, a fractured spine and fractured ribs. He never regained consciousness and died two days later as a result of his injuries.

Within minutes of police beginning their investigations officers, with the help of automatic number plate recognition cameras, identified Blatchford’s vehicle as the only Range Rover on that stretch of road.

Police went to his then home at Church Road, Stickford, and shortly afterwards he arrived in the Range Rover.

Scene of the fatal collision.

He smelled strongly of alcohol. He was arrested and a police station breath test revealed he was almost twice the drink driving limit with a reading of 66mgs of alcohol per 100mls of breath.

Police later traced CCTV footage from the Hammer and Pincers pub in Boston, which revealed that Blatchford had drunk nine and a half pints of lager, having visited the premises for two hours in the afternoon and then returning in the evening for a second drinking session.

The Range Rover’s bumper, bonnet and head light were all damaged with pieces of broken head light found at the scene matching the damage.

Susan Scott, the mother of David Scott, said in a victim impact statement: “My whole life has been changed for ever by this.”

Mr Scott’s former partner Kelly Gregory, who remained a close friend after they split up, said: “The person who hit David should have come clean to start with. He has destroyed my life. It will never be the same again.”

Blatchford, 33, now living at Tamar View, St Dominick, Cornwall, admitted causing the death of Mr Scott on October 20, 2018 by dangerous driving. He was jailed for six years and disqualified from driving for six years.

Judge Simon Hirst told him: “Plainly this is so serious that there must be a sentence of immediate custody.

“An hour and a half later you were almost twice the legal limit. On any view you were very substantially over the drink driving limit.”

Neil Sands, in mitigation, said that Blatchford has expressed his remorse in a letter he has written to Mr Scott’s family. In it Blatchford wrote: “There is no excuse for my actions. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about what I did. I wish I could turn the clock back. I will take the punishment handed out to me. I am so sorry that I have caused so much pain.”

Mr Sands said that Blatchford had no previous convictions and until the incident held a clean driving licence.

“He has no recollection of what took place. He wishes that he did. I don’t offer that as any sort of excuse but as an explanation.”

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