Death driver high and drunk at wheel

SCOTT Nicholls had consumed a cocktail of drink and drugs when his speeding car killed two women and nearly took the life a third.

SCOTT Nicholls had consumed a cocktail of drink and drugs when his speeding car killed two women and nearly took the life a third.

Today, as the 20-year-old from Ipswich begins eight years on detention, the families of Emma and Rebecca Harold and Kate Wasyluk expressed frustration over his sentence.

Speaking on their behalf, Sergeant Bob Patterson, of Suffolk Police's serious collision investigation team, said: “The families will always be unhappy in relation to it.”

Sgt Patterson added that women's relatives understood Ipswich Crown Court judge Peter Thompson had to act within a laid-down sentencing framework, but were annoyed there was no option to give Nicholls a longer sentence.

Yesterday the court heard Nicholls was nearly twice the drink-drive limit when he lost control of his car while travelling at an estimated 50mph in a 30mph zone.

He also had traces of ecstasy in his blood and had taken heroin the day before.

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Nicholls, who was disqualified from driving at the time, ploughed into the three women near St Clement's Hospital in Foxhall Road, Ipswich, early on February 21 this year as they walked home from its social club.

Emma Harold, 26, of Foxhall Road, and Miss Wasyluk, 25, of Irlam Road, were killed instantly, while Rebecca Harold, 25, sustained life-threatening injuries she is still struggling to overcome.

Prosecutor Godfried Duah told the court Nicholls had been at a child's seventh birthday party in Lindbergh Road on February 20.

His brother, Tom Laws, was also there and had given his car keys to the child's mother for safekeeping. Despite drinking alcohol Nicholls got the keys and took his brother's Citroen Saxo without consent.

He went to Bull Road where he persuaded a girl, Bianca Cloud, to get in the car. Another motorist, Daniel Moy, recalled the Saxo revving its engine when he came up behind him in Foxhall Road. It then sped past him “in a blur”.

Mr Duah said Mr Moy told police the Saxo suddenly veered across the road, clipped the kerb and collided with a garden wall.

He described the aftermath as “something which looked like a bomb going off.”

Mr Duah said Nicholls had 156 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood after the crash. The legal limit is 80mgs of alcohol.

Sentencing Nicholls after he admitted death by dangerous driving, Judge Thompson told him: “You were driving in a way which showed flagrant disregard for the rules of the road. You disregarded the anxieties of your passenger who urged you to slow down.

“One can hardly think of a more serious example of causing death by dangerous driving than this.”

The court heard four psychiatrists had provided reports stating Nicholls had mental health issues. He will initially be detained for treatment at a mental institution. When he is well enough Nicholls will serve the balance of his eight-year sentence in prison. Nicholls, who has previous convictions, was also given a three-month concurrent sentence for driving while disqualified.

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