Drink-driver jailed for killing young Scots vet

7 April 2017, 14:42

High Court in Glasgow

A drink-driver who caused the death of an island vet has been jailed for 12 years.

Thomas Wainwright, 27, was driving a high-powered sports car when he crashed into Theresa Wade's vehicle on the Isle of Mull in October 2015.

He was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow on Friday after previously being found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving at a trial.

He was also disqualified from driving for 15 years and until he has passed the extended test of competence.

In his sentencing statement, Judge Morris said Wainwright had been driving at "ridiculously excessive'' speeds of 95.5mph on a dark country road prior to the crash, hitting Ms Wade's vehicle at 69.5mph.

He said Wainwright drank alcohol for more than eight hours on a "sustained and regular basis'' on the day of the crash on the A849.

In the statement, posted on the Judiciary of Scotland website, he said: "Just prior to your leaving your final licensed premises, you were spoken to by a concerned member of the public who, knowing that neither you nor your passenger lived in the village where the pub was situated, asked how you were getting home.

"Your reply was, 'the car knows its own way home' - a remark, sir, which is perhaps all too indicative of your general attitude to all that transpired.''

The judge said he found it hard to find any mitigating factors in the case, and that as a first mate on a sea-going yacht, Wainwright should know the dangers of consuming alcohol and navigating a vessel.

Wainwright has a previous conviction for driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

The judge said: "Mr Wainwright, by your actions you have taken the life of a popular young lady with her whole life before her and shattered the lives of those who loved her.

"For that, sir, you must pay a price - not only as a punishment to you but as a deterrent to others who may be tempted to drive at excessive speed under the influence of alcohol.

"I consider that with the aggravating factors in your case and the lack of any meaningful mitigation, your actions bring you into, if not the very highest range of the sentencing spectrum for such offences, then at least the high end of the medium range.

"You'll go to prison for 12 years, backdated to March 12, 2017.''