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5 April 2019, 14:35
A drink-driver has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years for causing the death of anti-child abuse campaigner and former professional footballer Billy Seymour.
Alexander Clarke, 38, of no fixed address, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.
Ex-pro Seymour, who played for Coventry City and Millwall and who was an ambassador for the Offside Trust which campaigns against child abuse in sport, was a passenger in a Ford Transit van driven by Clarke, which crashed in Sonning Common, Oxfordshire, on January 3.
The pair had met that evening while drinking at the Black Horse public house in Emmer Green, according to police.
Mr Seymour, 47, suffered serious head injuries and was taken to hospital in Oxford, where he died two days later.
Pc Mark Dunne, of Thames Valley Police, said Clarke had been twice the legal alcohol limit when the accident happened.
He said: "This case has an absolutely tragic set of circumstances and highlights the dangers of drink-driving.
"Clarke was already disqualified from driving at the time he drove William Seymour's van, having previously been involved in a collision.
"He had not learnt his lesson and once again drove while above the legal alcohol limit.
"On this occasion, the court heard one of the aggravating factors was that he was almost twice the drink-drive limit when the collision occurred and sadly resulted in William Seymour's death."
As well as the prison term, Clarke was sentenced to a five-year driving ban, extended for three years and until he takes an extended re-test.
Mr Seymour had been due to give evidence in the re-trial of ex-football coach Bob Higgins, who is accused of 51 counts of indecent assault which he denies. The proceedings at Bournemouth Crown Court are ongoing.