Christmas Day death crash motorist continued to drink and drive after tragedy

Waddington
Waddington

A drink driver who caused the death of a scooter rider in a Christmas Day collision went on to commit another offence in which he was SIX times over the limit.

Bronn Waddington was jailed for seven years for causing the death of 32-year-old Aristeidis Fotopoulos on December 25, 2015, in Castleford.

In March this year Waddington, 41, was arrested at the wheel of a van after driving at over 100mph on a motorway in Scotland while six times the drink drive limit.

Leeds Crown Court heard Waddington had also been arrested for drink driving on Christmas Day in 2005 - exactly ten years before the fatal collision.

Witnesses described how Waddington had been driving “like an idiot” shortly before the collision on Sheepwalk Lane, Castleford, just before 5pm.

Richard Walters, prosecuting, said Waddington was driving a hire van provided to him by his employer and reached close to double the speed 30mph limit as he overtook vehicles. Waddington’s van appeared to travel into the wrong lane as he went round a bend.

Mr Fotopoulos was riding home from his shift as a security guard and swerved to avoid being struck by the van.

There was a head-on collision as Waddington swerved back into his own lane .

The prosecutor said Mr Fotopoulos struck the windscreen of the van and was dragged 30 metres along the road beneath the vehicle.

Other road users and local residents went to help Mr Fotopoulos as he was trapped beneath the van. He died later in hospital from his injuries.

Waddington was slurring his words when he got out of the vehicle and appeared to be drunk.

People at the scene had to push Waddington away as he tried to light a cigarette despite petrol being on the road surface.

Breathalyser tests showed he was close to being three times the drink drive limit.

Waddington, of Sheepwalk Lane, Castleford, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving while over the proscribed limit.

Mr Walters said Waddington was arrested on March 4 this year and convicted in the Scottish courts for driving at 105mph while six times the drink-drive limit. Mr Fotopoulos was a Greek national who had been living and working in UK for eight years and was due to enter into a civil partnership with his partner, David Myatt. The prosecutor said My Myatt was initially sympathetic towards Waddington but now felt anger towards him.

Ian Cook, mitigating, said: “The defendant is aware that nothing I can say in mitigation will offer any comfort to the friends and family of the deceased.

Mr Cook said father-of-one Waddington was a hard-working man but recognised he had a problem with alcohol which he needed to address while in custody.

Referring to Waddington’s latest offence, Judge Guy Kearl, QC, said: “You were something like six times the limit, driving at 100mph on a motorway - that has an effect on any remorse you seek to put forward.”

He added: “On December 25, 2015, you were driving a motor vehicle, this time a medium sized van, and you were something like three times the legal limit.

“That is so far over the legal limit that you could not have contemplated that you were under the limit.

“You were not driving the van in a cautious way either - quite the opposite.”

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