Drunk driver given six-year sentence after fatal collision in Barham

A 43-year-old man has been sentenced after pleading guilty to causing a collision in Barham in which a 32-year-old woman was killed.

Robert Lowe, of Peregrine Close, Clacton-on-Sea, appeared before Ipswich Crown Court on Friday 20 May, where he was sentenced to six years and eight months’ imprisonment.

He was also disqualified from driving for six years and ten months.

Lowe had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to causing the death of Jennifer Baker by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Following the collision in Norwich Road, Barham on 23 October 2020, Lowe was found to have 161 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres in his blood. The prescribed limit for driving is 80mg/100ml of blood.

Miss Baker, who was driving a Volkswagen Polo in the opposite direction towards Claydon, died at the scene. A passenger in the vehicle was also left with serious injuries.

Lowe had been driving on the wrong side of the road when his Seat Altea collided with Miss Baker’s vehicle.

Prior to the collision CCTV evidence showed that he had drunk at both the Greyhound pub in Claydon and the Sorrel Horse in Barham, as well as having purchased alcohol from a shop that afternoon.

Following the sentencing, Detective Inspector David McCormack, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This is a tragic incident in which a young woman has lost her life because of a completely preventable collision.

“This was wholly avoidable. The message is clear, do not drink and drive.

“The consequences for victims and their families and friends are horrific.

“Mr Lowe will have to live the rest of his life in the knowledge he has taken the life of young woman with everything ahead of her, and aware of the pain this has caused so many other people.

“I implore anyone who thinks it is okay to have a drink and then drive, please think of the potential consequences, it’s simply not worth the risk.

“If caught drink driving you could lose your license and receive a criminal record. At worst driving while under the influence of alcohol can and does lead to serious collisions, leading to life-changing injuries, and in this case, tragic, avoidable deaths.

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