Drunk driver jailed for elderly churchgoers death
A drunk driver has been jailed for 16 months for killing eight elderly people by driving a car into them at a church in Birmingham.
James Hargrove, 27, from Old Trafford Road, Clifton, appeared before Judge Daniel Roussos for sentencing on Wednesday.
The sentencing of him was delayed several times last month as it emerged the judge had ordered Hargrove kept in jail until he had had a chance to reflect and review his actions, including how he treated the elderly and other victims.
Hargrove was arrested on March 31 at the St George’s Church in Clifton, near St Helens, and bailed at the suggestion of police as the prosecution sought to argue that his vehicle had already become dangerously intoxicated and was operating at 100 miles per hour in a 40mph zone.
He drove his Holden Commodore up to the gates of the church, then swerved into a woman and a girl in front of the doors before turning left and coming to a complete stop after hitting the side of a house that stands on the left.
The collision sent a large section of the bridge over the Eltham River crashing into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called to St George’s Church at 10.40am on March 31 and found the driver of a black Holden Commodore was drinking alcohol outside the church.
“He had no previous contact with the victims, and he became more reckless and erratic and then drove into the group.”
He was arrested on Monday and charged with failing to provide a breath t더나인카지노est.
The driver of a light commercial vehicle at the scene was arr바카라 게임ested on Wednesday but police said it was not yet known if she had been injured.
The Metropolitan Police added: “This was not the first time Hargrove had driven drunk and the offence can only be described as extremely uncharacteristic of him.
“T포항출장안마he evidence at trial clearly showed that he had a degree of intoxication not thought to be appropriate for a drunk driver in today’s society.”
Witnesses told the court they were horrified when they heard Hargrove smash into the church.
Diana Fyfe, 70, said: “I looked up and saw a car come by and then saw he was on fire.
“I saw he had some kind of fire in his hands so I said to a lady who is walking home from work