Uncle branded disgrace after death crash

JANET Smith, the sister of a Suffolk man who crashed his car into a tree while drunk – killing her 20-year-old son – has described the four-year jail sentence imposed on her brother as "a disgrace".

JANET Smith, the sister of a Suffolk man who crashed his car into a tree while drunk – killing her 20-year-old son – has described the four-year jail sentence imposed on her brother as "a disgrace".

Seaman Alan Hugman, 31, was jailed yesterday after Ipswich Crown Court heard how he had been driving at twice the speed limit when the crash happened.

He had also spent the hours before the accident – in which his 20-year-old nephew Wayne Smith died – drinking in local pubs. He was driving at 60mph in a 30mph limit when the accident happened.

The mother of Mr Smith, from Lowestoft, said she would never forgive Hugman and hit out at the sentence imposed on her own brother.

Hugman, 31, of Harris Avenue, Lowestoft, had admitted causing Mr Smith's death by dangerous driving.

Mrs Smith, 43, said: "I think it is a disgrace that he could be out in two years with good behaviour when you consider what he has done."

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The court had heard that after the crash, Hugman ran to a friend's house where he drank some whisky. He told Mr Smith's fiancée, who went to the house looking for her boyfriend, there had been an accident but Mr Smith was alright.

Mrs Smith said the tragedy happened just a week after her brother confided to her how he had almost crashed his car after drinking.

She said: "I think that's the hardest thing – for him to tell me that and for me to accept an apology from him. He vowed he would never drink and drive again.

"We also found it hard that he left the scene, knowing he is a qualified first aider. Even if there wasn't anything he could have done for Wayne, he could have had the decency to stay with him or phone us and we could have been with him."

Jailing him for four years, Mr Justice Garland said the aggravating features of the case were the speed Hugman's high performance Subaru was travelling before the accident and the amount of alcohol he had consumed. It was also clear his car was not on its correct side of the road when it started to skid.

In addition, he was banned from driving for three years and ordered to take an extended re-test before he was allowed back on the road.

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