A drink driver who caused the death of a much-loved primary school teacher has been sent to prison for over five years.
Simon Allport, 44, was driving “at speed and aggressively” prior to crashing into Amie Linton, on July 14, 2020.
Both cars were travelling in opposite directions, Ms Linton, 33, had been going home to when Allport collided with her at such force, her Nissan Qashqai was propelled through a hedge and into a nearby field.
Allport, denied causing death by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing, however, he pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.
Allport’s, from Ingleby Barwick plea was accepted and on Friday afternoon he was jailed at Teesside Crown Court.
The court heard that Allport had a previous conviction for drink driving from 2000 and a conviction for being drunk and disorderly in 1999, according to Teesside Live.
Prosecutor Soheil Khan said that Allport had had two pints of lager with a friend at the Master Cooper Pub, on Acklam Road in Middlesbrough, at around 4pm on July 14.
He offered to give his friend a drive in his new sports car and the two set off towards Coulby Newham in the BMW M4 Coupe. A driver on the A174 described hearing a “loud noise before being passed by the BMW”; another driver near Stokesley said Allport was “flying” as she saw him “mount the near side verge”.
A driver of a Vauxhall Corsa said she screamed, as she was on Tantum Bridge and Allport came “hurting towards” her, his car over the white line and into her lane. At 5.30pm, whilst Allport negotiated a right hand bend after the bridge, he was a metre into Ms Linton’s lane.
The cars crashed and Ms Linton’s Nissan was forced off the road at an angle, it rotated 180 degrees before coming to rest in a field. Although two doctors stopped to help Ms Linton, she was pronounced dead after arriving at hospital.
Allport was found to be driving over the alcohol limit. He later told a nurse at Harrogate Hospital that he “shouldn’t say in front of the police” but he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.
Amie Linton’s father, Richard Linton, spoke in court on behalf of his family and Ms Linton’s partner, Andrew: “On July 14, 2020, our lives were devastated forever. A police car came down our quiet cul-de-sac and they told us that Amie had died in a car crash less than a mile away.
“It was the worst day of our lives. Amie’s friends had to retrieve her belongings from the field.
“This has left my granddaughter with no mother and Andrew, her partner, having to bring her up alone whilst trying to manage his own business. Our Amy worked hard to pursue her teaching career.
“She had a passion for helping children with their reading skills. We will never get over this trauma. Having to write this statement is one of the hardest things to do and we will always miss Amie so much.”
Speaking on behalf of Andrew, Amie’s partner, Richard Linton said: “My daughter has lost her mother and her best friend. I have lost my support, my sounding board, my love and my life partner. My greatest fear now is that my daughter’s life will be blighted by Amie’s death, as ours have been.”
Defending Allport, Eleanor Fry said that an expert report had found that the two vehicles’ speed “was not dissimilar to each other but that there was in sufficient evidence to find which of the vehicles may have been travelling faster”. Ms Fry said that Allport, who is a site manager in the building industry, is genuinely remorseful.
Allport’s family listened from the public gallery; over twenty members of Ms Linton’s family and friends sat at the opposite side of the courtroom. Judge Paul Watson QC told the court that Amie was a “loving caring partner, mother and teacher of young children. She was adored and respected by her family and those who knew her well.”
He told Allport that “although it’s not possible to tell what speed you were driving at the time of the collision, it is clear that you had been driving aggressively and at excessive speed.” Members of Ms Linton’s family cried as the judge jailed Allport for five-years and seven-months.
He was disqualified from driving for five-years and ten-months. The judge thanked “everyone in this court for the calm and dignified way in which you have conducted themselves”.
After the sentencing, Major Collision Investigation Detective Inspector, Jez Bartley of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Simon Allport was found to be more than one-and-a-half times over the legal alcohol limit when he crashed his BMW into Aime Linton’s car, and he will need to learn to live with the consequences of his selfish and deadly actions for the rest of his life.
“Getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol destroys the lives of so many people. We welcome the judge’s sentence today and hope it acts as a warning to others who wrongly think it’s acceptable to drink and drive.
“My thoughts and sympathies go out to Amie’s family, who have shown incredible courage throughout this emotional investigation and court process, having suffered unimaginable devastation.”
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