29 year-old Thomas Finnegan of Park Lane, Oxfordshire was yesterday (4 January 2020) sentenced to 8 years and 8 months in prison at Bradford Crown Court after he plead guilty to two counts of death by dangerous driving, one count of serious injury by dangerous driving and two counts of being over the limit for alcohol and drugs.
On 24 January 2020, Finnegan was driving his Mercedes Vito van on the A59 near Skipton after visiting the Cross Keys pub in Barnoldswick. Shortly before 10pm, whilst negotiating a left-hand bend, Finnegan’s vehicle crossed onto the wrong side of the carriageway and subsequently collided with a Nissan Juke driven by 52 year-old Mark Trevor Gregson and partner 43 year-old Claire Louise Lucas both from Kelbrook in Cumbria. The couple were very sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
Finnegan’s partner, 29 year-old Lucile Hamon was a passenger in his vehicle and sustained serious injuries in the collision.
Finnegan was unharmed and upon providing a roadside breath sample to officers on the scene, he was found to be over the drink-drive limit as well as providing a positive drug swipe for cocaine. Finnegan was arrested for causing death by dangerous driving and driving whilst under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Once in custody, he provided an evidential breath sample of not less than 67 mg of alcohol per 100ml, the legal limit being 35mg per 100ml. A blood test also later revealed 166mg of Benzolylecgonine (cocaine) in his system.
Finnegan was sentenced to 8 years and 8 months in prison as well as a 9 year and 4 month driving ban, followed by an extended re-test. HHJ Richard Mansell QC, Recorder for Bradford, confirmed if this case had gone to trial, his sentence would have been that of 13 yrs. Clearly demonstrating this type of irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated in today’s society.
Temporary Sergeant Adam Elliott of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Collision Investigation Team said:
We are pleased to see Finnegan handed this strong sentence which underlines the serious nature of his offences. Finnegan’s actions were responsible for the deaths of two individuals which have left their families, friends and colleagues devastated and four children mourning the loss of their parents, as well as causing his own partner to suffer serious injuries.
The impact of one individual prioritising a few drinks over the safety of others should not be underestimated and the message is very clear. Never drink, or participate in drug use and drive.