A drink and drug driver who callously tried to blame his girlfriend, who he was cheating on, for the crash in which she was killed when he ploughed into a road sign at high speed has been jailed.
Craig Carty’s ‘instinct for self-preservation’ had kicked following the death of 28-year-old Jo-Anne Mackian – who he was cheating on – in the crash.
Carty was so drunk and high on cannabis hat he fell unconscious while driving, causing the crash, the court heard.
The court heard how Carty, from Handsworth tried to stop motorists who arrived at the crash scene on the A4097 at Kingsbury in North Warwickshire in November 2013 from calling the emergency services and then fled the scene, leaving Jo-Anne there.
Jo-Anne, of Ryland Street, Birmingham, was being driven in an uninsured silver-coloured Peugeot 308 when it left the road and crashed into an M6 toll road sign at around 5am.
Carty, who was over the alcohol limit at the time, then lied to the police and to the jury by claiming the crash had been caused by his former girlfriend Jo-Anne grabbing his arm.
Carty, 31, of Farcroft Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, was jailed for eight years by a judge at Warwick Crown Court and banned from driving for four years.
He had been found guilty of causing Jo-Anne’s death by careless driving while over the legal alcohol limit and a further charge of doing so by driving while uninsured.
The crash took place as Carty, who was seeing someone else after finishing with Jo-Anne, was driving her home from a party they had attended separately at the Belfry golf course.
Jailing Carty, Judge Alan Parker told him: “Her family were compelled to listen to what they must have been sure was a false defence when, to save your own skin, you blamed Miss Mackian for that collision.
“Miss Mackian loved you very much; you did not love her. As a matter of fact, you had taken up with another woman but you had not the decency to disclose that fact to her.
“You went to the Belfry. Miss Mackian also went there to where she had hoped to see you. It is clear she had made a very great effort to please you. However, for a large part, you ignored her.
“At some point you had consumed cannabis, and you consumed alcohol to the extent that four hours after the accident the reading was 113, against the legal limit of 80.
“You were driving far too fast for the road and the road conditions, you were adversely affected by alcohol and controlled drugs and for a moment you fell into a state of unconsciousness.
“The car left the road and ended up smashing into a road sign. Jo-Anne Mackian died, and you survived.
“Once you aroused yourself and established her state, you thought only of yourself.”
Judge Parker said that rather than call for an ambulance, Carty had phoned a friend to ask him to pick him up to take him away, which only failed because his friend went the wrong way.
He also tried to discourage people who had stopped from calling the emergency services.
“You then denied being the driver and attempted to sully Miss Mackian by saying she was to blame, first by saying she had been driving.
“Then in your interview and in this trial you sought to blame her throughout by alleging you were the victim of her grabbing the steering wheel and causing you to lose control. The jury rejected that. It was a tissue of lies.
Earlier Philip Bradley, defending, had said he conceded the aggravating features were that Carty was not insured, his alcohol level, and the ‘unedifying aspect’ of him having claimed that Jo-Anne had been driving.
But he argued that the crash had been the result of a ‘momentary lapse’ – which was rejected by the judge.