Driver jailed for three years after drink-drive crash in the Yorkshire Dales


A drink-driver who fled the scene after crashing her Range Rover into a wall and killing her friend, the well-known businessman Thomas Bannister, while twice the legal limit has been jailed after a sentencing hearing at Bradford Crown Court today.

Gerry Wareham, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, CPS Yorkshire and Humberside said:

"Debbie Barker has pleaded guilty to causing the death of Thomas Bannister by careless driving whilst over the prescribed limit of alcohol, and failing to report an accident. Today she has been sentenced to three years in prison and disqualified from driving for five years.

"By getting behind the wheel of her vehicle after she had been drinking she took a huge and irresponsible risk and, very sadly, Mr Bannister paid for it with his life.  She then neglected to alert emergency services as soon as practicable and it was several hours after the accident before any potential help arrived.

"Thomas Bannister was very well-known and much-loved in the local community. He was a father, a son and a friend to many and will be sorely missed.  

"This terrible case has resulted in the loss of his life and devastated that of many others. I hope it serves as a stark warning of the potentially tragic consequences of drinking and driving.