A father screamed ‘Oh my God’ seconds before a drunk driver in a BMW killed him in a head-on crash, a court heard – as the driver who was still twice the limit six hours later has been jailed for 56 months.    

William Ludlow, a ‘well-loved family man’, was critically injured when the drunk Andrew Stinchcomb, 40, smashed into his car at speed. The victim died in hospital two days later. 

The killer motorist was still more than double the limit when his alcohol levels were tested six hours after the accident. 

He was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday after admitting causing death by careless driving. 

William Ludlow, pictured, a 'well-loved family man' and father, screamed 'Oh my God' seconds before a drunk driver in a BMW killed him in a head-on crash, a court heard

William Ludlow, pictured, a 'well-loved family man' and father, screamed 'Oh my God' seconds before a drunk driver in a BMW killed him in a head-on crash, a court heard

William Ludlow, pictured, a ‘well-loved family man’ and father, screamed ‘Oh my God’ seconds before a drunk driver in a BMW killed him in a head-on crash, a court heard

Andrew Stinchcomb, 40, pictured, was still more than double the limit when his alcohol levels were tested six hours after the accident. He has been jailed for 56 months

Andrew Stinchcomb, 40, pictured, was still more than double the limit when his alcohol levels were tested six hours after the accident. He has been jailed for 56 months

Andrew Stinchcomb, 40, pictured, was still more than double the limit when his alcohol levels were tested six hours after the accident. He has been jailed for 56 months

Gerald Baxter, prosecuting, described how both parties were driving on Willaston Road in Neston on the afternoon of July 26, 2021.

Stinchcomb’s BMW 3 Series and Mr Ludlow’s Nissan were travelling in opposite directions as they approached a bend in the 50 miles per hour limit road.

However, the defendant travelled into the lane of the oncoming pensioner, causing the fatal collision. Both men had to be cut out of their cars by firefighters.

Mr Ludlow was airlifted to the Royal Stoke Hospital after suffering ‘catastrophic injuries’. He died two days later on July 28, with his cause of death given as ‘severe chest and abdominal injuries’.

Meanwhile, Stinchcomb, of Marshlands Road in Little Neston, was taken to Aintree Hospital via helicopter. 

The father-of-two told police at the scene he had been ‘drinking spirits’ and had 165 micrograms of alcohol in his system per 100 milliliters of blood when giving a sample more than six hours later – with the legal limit being 80 micrograms.

During an interview, the 40-year-old revealed that he had taken his children to school in the morning before returning home. Stinchcomb said he then went to an off-licence and bought cans of beer, drinking one on the beach before throwing the others away.

Mr Stinchcomb was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday after admitting causing death by careless driving

Mr Stinchcomb was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday after admitting causing death by careless driving

Mr Stinchcomb was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday after admitting causing death by careless driving

He ‘wasn’t sure’ if he had consumed more alcohol at home and stated to police that he ‘considered himself a safe and considerate driver’ and ‘in hindsight regretted getting into the car’. The motorist also reported that he had a ‘poor history of mental health’.

Carol Slater, the front seat passenger of Mr Ludlow, described the victim as a ‘good driver who always drove carefully’. After the accident she reported that Stinchcomb was driving at a ‘fast speed’ and ‘careered into their side of the road’.

Meanwhile, Mr Ludlow ‘did not have any chance of avoiding’ the collision as the other car was ‘directly in front of them’, Ms Slater told officers. She also reported hearing him say ‘Oh my God’ as the BMW appeared ‘on top of them’.

Another driver travelling behind estimated that they were both travelling at around 40 miles per hour. His wife recalled that Stinchcombe was ‘travelling far too fast’ and Mr Ludlow ‘had no chance’.

The wife spoke to the drunk driver in the aftermath of the accident, and he told her he had had ‘a couple of drinks’. 

A passing doctor who stopped to give assistance said he could smell alcohol on his breath.

Stinchcombe – who has no previous convictions – had a flat tyre on the front nearside of his car, while one of his rear tyres was underinflated. The vehicle was found to have ‘been driven for some distance’ in this condition.

Sarah Holt, defending, told the court: ‘Mr Stinchcomb is responsible for the death of Mr Ludlow, and he takes full responsibility for that. That responsibility has placed upon him a burden he will carry not for the duration of his sentence, but for the duration of his life.

‘He is consumed with guilt, shame and most of all remorse for the family of Mr Ludlow, who as a consequence of his actions have suffered the most devastating loss. 

‘He is also full of remorse, guilt and shame in relation to his own family, who will suffer the consequences of his actions that day – his partner and children will be left in a position where their partner and father is not at home.’

She added: ‘References speak volumes to the sort of man he ordinarily is, and the high regard in which he is held by so many. The only way he can even try to express how terribly, truly sorry he is to Mr Ludlow’s family is by entering his guilty plea and doing so as soon as was possible.’

Several family members of both men attended court during the hearing. Mr Ludlow’s wife and son held hands while Stinchcomb was handed 56 months behind bars. 

Sentencing, Judge Stuart Driver KC said: ‘This case involves the untimely death of Mr William Ludlow. He was a well-loved family man. 

‘The loss to his relatives and friends cannot possibly be calculated. Six hours after the the accident, a blood sample was taken from you in which your alcohol level was 165 micrograms per 100ml.

‘Common sense dictates that it must have been higher at the time of the accident. It is accepted that your driving can be considered as falling not far short of dangerousness.

‘The court can take into account the numerous references which speak highly of your personal qualities. I take into account that you were suffering from poor mental health at the time, and that contributed to your offending.’

He added: ‘Your family, including your two young children, will be separated from you for a long time. Mr Ludlow’s family have been entirely bereaved of him.

‘You have shown true remorse and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. I thank Mr Ludlow’s family for the dignity shown in these proceedings.’

Stinchcomb looked tearful during the hearing and was seen shaking in the dock.

The driver nodded to the judge and quietly said ‘thank you’ after the sentence was handed down. He has also been banned from driving for six years and four months.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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