Tuesday, February 11, 2014

UK: Drunken Driver, 55, Who Killed Dutch Senior Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

According to the BBC, a drunk-driver, Stewart Williamson 55, who killed a Dutch tourist the day he arrived in Scotland (April 6, 2013) for a walking holiday, has been sentenced to five years in prison for being intoxicated three times the legal limit when he lost control of his car and drove over Eduard Goudsblom, 70, killing him instantly.

At the High Court in Edinburgh on Tuesday (February 11, 2014), Judge John Beckett QC told Williamson the victim was "irreplaceable" and his widow said "the joy has gone from her life." The judge added: "You made the incomprehensible decision to drive the short distance to your home when you had been drinking for several hours...You were driving at excessive speed in a place where it was entirely foreseeable there would be pedestrians about."

Mr. Williamson was a local resident of the Scottish town of Pitlochry. 

COMMENT: The judge pointed out Williamson's Ford Galaxy was partly off the road when it struck the 70-year-old retired care home manager, who had no chance of survival. 

The judge also noted that Williamson's service to his country for more than 20 years was "exemplary and impressive."

That being said, Judge Beckett sentenced Williamson to a prison term of five years and banning him from driving a motor vehicle for seven years, after which he will have to undergo a driving test to earn his driving privileges back.

Mr. Goudsblom had arrived in Pitlochry on April 6, 2013, with a friend planning to spend a few days walking in Perthshire before moving onto the Isle of Skye.

Prosecutor Leanne Cross earlier told the court: "The deceased kept in excellent health and was a married man with two children. He also had a number of grandchildren and he spent a considerable amount of time with his family."

Williamson, a father of three, admitted causing the death of Goudsblom on April 6 by driving dangerously while under the influence of alcohol.

I continue to lament as to how alcoholic beverages continue to destroy so many lives unnecessarily. What a pity.