Drink-drive death crash motorist jailed

A MOTORIST who killed his passenger when he crashed a car while drunk had been convicted of drink-driving five times before, it emerged yesterday.

Roddy Ashworth

A MOTORIST who killed his passenger when he crashed a car while drunk had been convicted of drink-driving five times before, it emerged yesterday.

Unemployed Dean Costello, 31, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Ben Stevens in a road accident in Colchester Road, Tiptree, on Friday, August 22 last year and was sent to prison for five-and-a-half years.

Front-seat passenger Mr Stevens, 23, from Grantham Road in Great Horkesley, was certified dead at the scene of the crash in which Costello's Escort collided with a Vauxhall Corsa.

The driver of the Corsa, a 45-year-old woman from Fordham Heath, suffered a variety of minor injuries but was not seriously hurt.

The crash happened at around 10pm on the B1022 near to its junction with Haynes Green Road.

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Mr Stevens' parents, Julie and Michael, were said be devastated after their son's death.

The Escort driver, Dean Costello, was arrested and subsequently charged with one count of causing death by careless driving while unfit through drink and one count of making a false declaration to obtain insurance.

At Chelmsford Crown Court the 31-year-old unemployed man from Harvey Road in Colchester pleaded guilty to both offences.

He was sentenced to five-and-a-half years' imprisonment for causing death by careless driving while unfit through drink and 12 months' imprisonment for the insurance offence. Both sentences are to run concurrently.

Yesterday Senior Investigating Officer, Insp Steve Brewer, said: “This crash was caused by Dean Costello's disregard for the dangers of drinking and driving and as a result a family needlessly lost a young man.

“My heart goes out to Julie and Michael as they will never have Ben back.

“If anyone ever needed a reminder, this senseless and needless tragedy can only illustrate the horrendous consequences of drink-driving.

“People must understand that a car can act as a weapon and, if misused, will cause injury and death.

“Those who drink and drive know precisely what they are doing when they get behind the wheel.

“Dean Costello took the decision to drive and his irresponsible actions have left one family devastated by the loss of their son.

“The driver of the Corsa was extremely fortunate to have escaped without serious injury, but will no doubt be haunted by memories of this terrible crash.”

Dean Costello was also disqualified from driving for six years and must complete an extended driving test before being considered for another licence.

An Essex police spokesman said yesterday: “Costello had five previous drink-related driving convictions and this was his sixth.”