Jail increased for drink-drive killers

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The Independent Online
The crackdown on drink-driving was reinforced yesterday when the Court of Appeal increased the prison sentences of two motorists who killed while under the influence of alcohol from 18 months to four years.

Lord Taylor, the Lord Chief Justice, said the judges who jailed Simon Rayner and David Wing had passed 'wholly inadequate' sentences.

Rayner, 33, of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty at Leeds Crown Court last May to causing the death of Michael Bray by dangerous driving.

His alcohol level was three times the limit when his car mounted the pavement killing Mr Bray.

Wing, 40, of Stockton-on- Tees, Cleveland, was jailed at Teesside Crown Court in last June for causing the death of Shirley Poulton by careless driving while two-and-a-half times over the alcohol limit. Mrs Poulton had been walking her dog on a footpath.

Lord Taylor, sitting with Mr Justice Scott Baker and Mr Justice Longmore, said they were applying guidelines laid down recently by the Court of Appeal after the Government a year ago increased the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving from 5 to 10 years.

The guidelines said those who killed through reckless disregard for the safety of others must expect to lose their liberty for upwards of five years. Lord Taylor said the four-year jail terms passed yesterday took into account the fact that Rayner and Wing had faced the 'double jeopardy' of being sentenced a second time and should not be taken as the proper level of sentencing by trial judges.