Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

No Jail Sentence for Drink Driver; Man Injured and Dog Killed in Accident

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

No Jail Sentence for Drink Driver; Man Injured and Dog Killed in Accident

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Daniel

AMOTORIST who mowed down a dog walker while almost four times over the legal alcohol limit was spared jail yesterday.

Danielle McKewon, 30, of Clayport Gardens, Alnwick, hit Christopher Kelly, 45, and a Pomeranian dog which he was walking.

HGV driver Mr Kelly, of Shilbottle, was "catapulted" over a wall and suffered serious injuries, which have left him temporarily wheelchair-bound, Alnwick magistrates heard.

The car ran over the dog, which died.

Trainee social worker and single mother McKewon left the scene before police arrived.

She was later found drunk at home, arrested and gave a reading of 139 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, just under four times the legal limit of 35mg.

McKewon pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, careless driving and failing to stop after an accident.

But despite magistrates having previously stated they were considering a 26-week prison sentence, McKewon walked free from court.

Magistrates opted to suspend the sentence for two years, telling the defendant they felt she and her two sons had suffered enough already.

Last night, that decision was slammed by road safety charity Brake, which said the case "begs the question what do you actually have to do to get sent to prison".

Prosecutor James Long had told the court McKewon had been drinking in the Farrier's pub in Shilbottle, then decided to drive to her then home in the village at around 8pm on May 16.

Mr Kelly had taken his partner Alison's dog out for a walk. McKewon lost control of the Audi A6, clipped the kerb and mounted the pavement on Grange Road, hitting Mr Kelly and the dog.

The defendant left the scene but was quickly traced to the car. Mr Kelly was taken to Wansbeck General Hospital and was only released last Friday. Magistrates were told the victim's left leg was shattered from the knee downwards.

His right knee was broken and he has had surgery on both legs. …

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