Stretford drink-driver jailed over woman's death

Paul Tomlinson Image copyright GMP
Image caption Paul Tomlinson admitted causing death by dangerous driving

A drink-driver has been jailed for killing a woman whose son was coincidentally sent to the crash in his role as a scene of crime investigator.

Susan Smythe, 59, died after being hit by a VW Golf in Stretford, Greater Manchester on 9 September.

When her son Rob Smythe arrived and was informed the victim was his mother, he was immediately taken off the case.

Paul Tomlinson, 33, of Sale Moor, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to six years.

He also pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court to failing to provide a specimen for analysis and failing to stop and report an accident.

Image copyright GMP
Image caption Susan Smythe was walking home from bingo when she was struck by Tomlinson

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said Tomlinson had been seen almost colliding with a stationary vehicle at traffic lights on Wharfside Way, Trafford Park at 21:00 BST as well as mounting a kerb and narrowly avoiding other collisions.

Fifty minutes later, he swerved erratically into the outside lane of Chester Road as Ms Smythe crossed at the junction with Green Street and hit her.

Witnesses estimated his car to have been travelling at between 70mph and 100mph, the court heard.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A GMP spokesman said Tomlinson did not stop and drove to a car park near his home.

He wiped the steering wheel and doors with a pair of leggings before leaving the vehicle, the spokesman added.

Tomlinson was later arrested at his home and breathalysed in custody, where he was slurring his speech, unsteady on his feet and found to have 137 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The limit in England is 35 micrograms.

Tomlinson claimed to have had a single drink of vodka, although his girlfriend - a passenger in the car who had begged him to slow down - said she could smell alcohol on his breath, the court heard.

The police spokesman said Tomlinson was "an accident waiting to happen" and "in no fit state to be behind the wheel".

Tomlinson was also disqualified for driving for eight years.

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