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Drink-driver jailed for causing death of colleague by dangerous driving

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A drink-driver who caused the death of a colleague when he crashed his car following a Christmas party has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Meirion Emerson Roberts aged 26, of Heol Las, Ammanford, has today been sentenced at Swansea Crown Court, following his conviction on 24 February for causing the death of Lewis Morgan, aged 20, by dangerous driving.

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Both Roberts and Lewis had attended their work’s Christmas party during the afternoon of Friday, 4th December 2020, and had left the Cottage Inn, near Llandeilo at around 6pm.

Lewis had arranged a lift home with his brother, while Roberts decided to drive his Vauxhall Corsa after consuming at least five or six pints of cider.

He later drove to Lewis’s home in Carmarthen, where he consumed more alcohol before going for a drive with Lewis in the passenger seat.

Snapchat footage shown to the court during the trial showed Roberts speeding throughout the journey, reaching speeds of 100mph whilst drinking alcohol at the wheel on the A48 between Carmarthen and Cross Hands.

While driving through the village of Blaenau, towards Ammanford, Roberts lost control of his car and collided with a lamppost, completely severing it at the base, before going on to collide with a garden wall, completely destroying it.

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Tragically, Lewis sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene.

Roberts had argued during his trial that his driving had only amounted to careless driving, however, the jury returned an unanimous guilty verdict and convicted him of causing death by dangerous driving.

Roberts, who was also injured in the collision, provided a specimen of blood at around 2.15am the next day, more than five hours after the crash, which gave a reading of 54 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood, with the legal limit being 80.

However, Dr Rhys Williams, an expert in alcohol analysis, told the trial Roberts would have been over the limit at the time of the crash, with a reading no lower than 101 milligrammes.

Sentencing Roberts, His Honour Judge Christopher Vosper QC told him that despite having consumed alcohol he did not attempt to moderate his driving, instead choosing to drive at excess speed, which ultimately caused him to lose control of his vehicle, resulting in the death of his work colleague Lewis Morgan.

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Lewis’s family, in their victim impact statement, said: “Not only have we gone through the trauma of losing Lewis but the ordeal of a full trial has been heart-breaking.

“Our suffering has been extended, prolonged.

“This has been incredibly difficult.”

His sister described Lewis as “the brightest, the most beautiful of us all and he never left the house without the biggest smile on his face”.

HHJ Vosper QC sentenced Roberts to seven and a half years imprisonment and disqualified him from driving for 6 years and 9 months, with the requirement to pass an extended test before he has his licence returned.

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Sgt Sara John, from Dyfed Powys Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “As always, our thoughts are with Lewis’s family at this difficult time.

“No sentence passed by the court could adequately reflect the grief inflicted on them by Meirion Roberts.

“His arrogant decision to drive his vehicle whilst drunk has taken Lewis away from them forever, something that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.

“Drink-driving is never acceptable and is something that we see time and time again destroying lives.

“This case has sadly proved that getting behind the wheel of your car whilst drunk has devastating consequences.”

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(Lead image: Dyfed Powys Police)

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