Rugby player Mitchell Todd over drink limit, inquest hears

Mitchell Todd
Police said Mitchell Todd ignored advice not to drink and drive

A "talented" rugby player was twice over the legal limit and driving without a seatbelt when he was killed in a car crash, an inquest heard.

Former Scotland under-20 and Nottingham Rugby Club player Mitchell Todd was found in his car near Normanton-on-the-Wolds, Nottinghamshire, in August.

An inquest into his death heard the 21-year-old had been at an all-day training event the previous day.

Empty wine bottles and beer cans were also found next to him in the car.

The inquest at Nottingham Town Hall heard his blood-alcohol reading was 172mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The legal driving limit is 80mg.

A post mortem examination confirmed Todd, who played for Scotland under-20 in last season's Six Nations and featured in the Junior World Cup, died as a result of a catastrophic brain injury which he could not have survived.

'Ignored advice'

Det Con Mark Henshaw, of Nottinghamshire Police, said the player, described by his club as an "exceptional talent", drank free wine and beer at a meal at the end of a training event with Nottingham Rugby Club at Trent College in Long Eaton, Nottinghamshire, on 14 August.

He took a taxi to Nottingham city centre where he continued to drink with his team mates until 02:00 GMT.

Mr Henshaw said Mr Todd, who lived in Nod Rise, Coventry, then ignored advice from the rugby club not to drive after the event and returned to his car.

He said residents in the area of Cotgrave Road described hearing a loud thud around 03:15 GMT on 15 August as Mr Todd lost control of his Citroen C3 while travelling at speed and crashed through a fence into a field.

PC Robert Lloyd, forensics collision investigator at Nottinghamshire Police, said: "If he had been wearing his seat belt I think there would have been a very great difference to the outcome. He would have been shaken up but not have sustained the serious injuries which he did."

Assistant deputy coroner Jane Gillespie recorded a verdict of accidental death.

She added: "This is a sad, unnecessary and preventable waste of a talented young life and I very much hope that valuable lessons are learnt as a result of this tragedy."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites