Drunk driver jailed for killing friend

A HEARTBROKEN mother, whose son was killed by drunk driver, said two young lives had been ruined by the tragedy after the teenager responsible was jailed yesterday.

Colin Adwent

A HEARTBROKEN mother, whose son was killed by drunk driver, said two young lives had been ruined by the tragedy after the teenager responsible was jailed yesterday.

Mark Greggs, of Yaxley Road, Mellis, near Eye, was imprisoned for more than two years after pleading guilty to death by careless driving.

The 19-year-old, who was already disqualified for drink-driving, lost control of his father's car which he had taken without permission. He was estimated to have been driving at 60mph in a 30mph limit at the time.

Daniel Lupson, 18, a back seat passenger in the vehicle, was killed when it overturned and hit a tree on the Old Ipswich Road in Yaxley around 2.30am on September 19 last year - Greggs' 19th birthday.

Greggs also sustained life-threatening injuries in the crash, which had left him with brain damage.

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After the sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, Mr Lupson's mother Carol said: “There are no words to explain how we feel.

“Justice needed to be done and at the end of the day it's two young lives ruined. We have got justice in that Mark has gone to prison, but no amount of years is going to bring Daniel back.

“It just came down to stupidity and alcohol. Unfortunately Daniel got into the car of his own free will. Mark knew he was banned. He knew he had been drinking excessively and he knew he shouldn't have taken that car.”

Both teenagers were former Hartismere High School pupils and had been in the Cherry Tree public house in Yaxley on September 18.

Greggs was seen to have consumed two pints of lager in 45 minutes. He then went to Ipswich as a passenger in friend's car. When they arrived, Greggs and the front seat passenger swigged from a bottle of Jack Daniels, before the vehicle returned to Yaxley.

Greggs then met up with Mr Lupson, of Mellis, and another friend, before taking his father's car.

Three-and-a-half hours after the crash a blood sample taken from Greggs showed he had 95 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80mlgs.

The court was told Greggs had been banned from the road six months earlier for drink driving in January 2008. At the time he had 82 mlgs of alcohol in 100mls of blood.

Segments of a victim impact statement by Mrs Lupson were read out in court.

In it she said: “It still hurts like hell. You don't expect to plan for your children's funerals.”

Mrs Lupson also wrote about her husband Ian's grief.

“I know Ian is finding it hard as he has said to me if he didn't have me or the kids he would have ended it (his life) by taking pills and whiskey.”

Martyn Levett, mitigating, said Greggs had also written to the court stating: “I will never forgive myself. Daniel was a great person and I will miss him dearly. I'm truly sorry and always will be.”

After pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to causing the death of the 18-year-old, Greggs was jailed for two years and eight months.

He was also given a four-month concurrent sentence for driving while disqualified.

Outside the court Mr Lupson paid tribute to Daniel, on behalf of his wife and their other children James, 18 and Victoria, 12.

He said: “For a little person he had such a big personality. He was just fun-loving.”

The Lupson family added that through fund-raising events they have collected �2,410 which they have donated to the road safety charity Brake.