A drink driver who drove at three times the speed limit, killing a pensioner in a head-on collision and then fleeing the scene of the incident, has been convicted of causing her death and jailed.
Matthew Scrimshaw was sentenced to 12 years in prison for death by dangerous driving.
Scrimshaw drove his high-powered Audi TT RS, with three of his friends also in the car, at speeds of over 90mph through the village of Brinsley and towards Eastwood on the night of 9 December 2014 after they had had been drinking at a nearby pub.
As well as driving at speed, the car had also strayed on to wrong side of Mansfield Road when it collided with a Toyota Yaris being driven by Iris Higginson in the opposite direction at around 10.50pm.
Mrs Higginson, 68, died at the scene, while the passengers in Scrimshaw’s car were all injured in the collision, one of them seriously.
Scrimshaw immediately fled on foot to the home of an ex-partner, changing his clothes and discarding his mobile phone.
He was located and arrested shortly afterwards.
A breath test taken upon his arrest showed he was over the legal alcohol limit, which was later confirmed by a blood test taken at the Queen’s Medical Centre.
It was calculated that Scrimshaw must have had at least 141 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood at the time of the crash. The legal limit is 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood.
Examination of the scene, including analysis of CCTV footage from local properties, showed Scrimshaw had been travelling as quickly as 95mph in a 30mph limit. The vehicle was also seen to be on the wrong side of the road in the seconds before the collision.
Blood found on the driver’s airbag, seat and steering wheel was found to contain DNA matching that of Scrimshaw.
Despite the evidence against him, Scrimshaw, 37, of Halls Lane, Newthorpe, denied causing death by dangerous driving as well as other charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving while above the legal alcohol limit, failing to stop at the scene of a collision and failing to report the incident.
However, following a three-day trial this week (21-23 December), he was found guilty.
As well as being sentenced for death by dangerous driving, he was also sentenced to two and a half years in prison for causing serious injury by dangerous driving to a passenger in his car, which will concurrently.
In addition, he has also been banned from driving for 15 years.
Detective Sergeant James Greely, of the EMOpSS Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Scrimshaw’s complete disregard for the safety of other road users extended even to his friends, one of whom suffered very serious injuries and was lucky to survive.
“He showed utter contempt not just for the law, but for everyone else who was affected by this devastating collision, which could have potentially resulted in more deaths. He fled the scene and left his friends and the victim behind, so determined was he to cover up his crime.
“Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, including the testimony of the men who had regarded him as a friend, he chose to deny the charges, forcing the family of Mrs Higginson to have to endure a trial. Thankfully, that trial has resulted in a guilty verdict.
“Our thoughts go out to Mrs Higginson’s relatives who have lost someone they loved dearly because of the arrogance of a man who thought that the laws of drink driving and speeding simply did not apply to him. They apply to us all and this should serve as a stark reminder of the consequences if they are not observed and obeyed.”