An ‘arrogant’ drink driver who killed an elderly woman and left her husband fighting for his life after necking two bottles of wine and getting behind the wheel has been jailed for almost ten years.
Sebastian Anderson, 35, ploughed head on into an on-coming car as he was speeding home at 52mph on February 10, last year.
Manchester City fan Pamela Richards, 73, was returning home with her husband John from the Etihad Stadium after they watched their team beat Leicester City 5-1.
But a drunk Anderson was coming the other way.
Mrs Richards suffered fatal injuries in the crash in Ardwick, Manchester and died on arrival in hospital.
Her 77-year old husband, a primary school governor and retired education welfare officer suffered multiple injuries.
The couple had been together for 52 years on the day Pamela Richards died.
At first Anderson tried to falsely claim he wasn’t driver of his VW Golf and that another man was at the wheel – after having threatened him at knifepoint and running after the crash.
He claimed he had planned to leave his car in Manchester to go drinking but said a man had punched threatened him before getting into his car and driving it – with him in the passenger seat.
He claimed that when the collision occurred the mystery driver fled, but CCTV showed he was driving the car.
Anderson was seen slumped over the steering well of his car at the scene, despite suggesting he had consumed only two small bottles of wine.
He was was pointed out to police and a test showed he had 199 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.
The tragedy occurred at 8pm last February 10 as Mrs Richards a childminder who used to work for Woolworths and John were taking their usual route home to Flixton in their Nissan Micra after the Premier League game.
Anderson had been drinking with friends but decided to drive 14 miles to his £300,000 home in the High Peak village of Hadfield.
As he sped along the A57 which has 30mph limit he jumped a red light at a pelican crossing forcing a pedestrian to dive out the way.
Moments later he overtook a taxi as the dual carriageway became one lane and ploughed into Mr and Mrs Richards as they were pulling out of a side street.
Mrs Richards was pronounced dead just before 9pm. Mr Richards suffered fractures to both arms, his shoulder and his neck as well as a serious brain injury and is still an inpatient at Trafford General Hospital.
Eight months on, Pamela’s husband John is still being treated on a hospital rehabilitation ward for physical and mental wounds and will require ‘an intensive care package’ when he moves back home.
In a statement Mr and Mrs Richards’ family said their lives had been ‘ripped apart’ by the tragedy. The couple’s eldest daughter passed away shortly before the crash after developing breast cancer.
Anderson an electrical engineer pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and drink driving and was jailed for nine years and eight months.
He had previous drink driving convictions from 2005 and 2007 and had gone into rehab in 2012. Pictures on his Facebook page showed him drinking champagne in the back of a stretch limousine and consuming red wine and beer at home.
He claimed to have been introduced to alcohol when he was just seven whilst living in France.
Sentencing Judge Martin Walsh told him: ‘This collision was caused by the dangerous way in which your vehicle was being driven and aggravated by your grossly intoxicated condition.
‘I accept you did not intend the tragic consequences of your actions but you assumed the gross and obvious risk by driving dangerously at a time when your ability was significantly impaired by the excessive consumption of alcohol.’
Anderson was also banned from driving for ten years and ten months and will have to take an extended driving test.
After the hearing Sergeant Lee Westhead, from Greater Manchester Police said: ‘The risks of drink driving are well known, yet in 2018 I am still investigating the devastation caused by the likes of Anderson.
‘He is a selfish and arrogant individual who, when faced with the reality of what he had done, sought to place the blame on a fictitious street robber who had driven Anderson’s car whilst Anderson was at knifepoint in the passenger seat. His lies were soon unravelled by the investigation team but this only heightened the suffering of Pamela and John’s family.
‘Those who continue to drink and drive on our roads should take heed of this case.’