Drink driver jailed for four years after crash which killed teenage festival-goer

Louis Makai. Picture: Sussex Police

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A DRINK driver has been jailed for four years for causing the death of a teenager evicted from a music festival.

James Slater, 33, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving when he appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court.

The charge related to a hit-and-run collision which killed 19-year-old Henry Minns, from Penryn, Cornwall, in a country lane outside the Bestival music festival on the Isle of Wight.

The teenager, who was in fancy dress, was walking along the road shortly after midnight on Sunday, September 12 last year after being thrown out of the festival for not having an entry wristband.

A 20-year-old woman from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, was also seriously injured in the accident.

A Hampshire police spokesman said: ‘Mr Slater failed to stop at the scene of the collision, continuing to drive towards Ryde.

‘He crashed the Ford Focus into the hedgerow approximately two miles further east along Mersley Down Road.

‘Mr Slater, who then left the scene of the crashed car, was tracked and found hiding under a hedge approximately 400 metres away thanks to the skills of a police dog, the German shepherd Rebel, deployed by PC Nathan Lucy.’

Police say a breath test showed Slater had 71 mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath which is twice the drink-drive limit of 35mcg.

Slater, of Heene Terrace, Worthing, in West Sussex, was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment at Portsmouth Crown Court on Friday, February 18.

Inspector Martin Goodall, of Hampshire police’s roads policing unit, said: ‘Our thoughts remain with the family of Henry Minns after his life was tragically ended in a collision on our roads.’