Brighton death crash driver jailed for six years

Posted On 22 Jul 2011 at 8:46 pm

A Brighton man has been jailed for six years for causing death by dangerous driving.

Jonathan Wenham, 40, of Ridgeside Avenue, Patcham, was over the drink-drive limit when he crashed in the centre of Brighton in January.

One of his three passengers, Nicholas Messenger, 28, of Old Kent Road, London, died as a result of the crash.

Wenham drove his light blue BMW into a tree in Grand Parade, Brighton, near the junction with Morley Street, at about 6.45am on Friday 21 January.

Sergeant Paul Wood, of the Sussex Police Road Policing Unit, said: “Wenham knew prior to setting off on his journey that he was above the drink-drive limit.

“This seriously affected his ability to drive which resulted in the collision and tragic loss of Nicholas Messenger’s life.

“I hope that, out of this tragedy, people will take into account their alcohol consumption from the preceding night before deciding whether to drive.

“They have to understand that they may still be over the limit.”

Wenham admitted causing death by dangerous driving and making a false statement to obtain insurance when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court today (Friday 22 July).

He was sentenced to an extra six months in prison for the false statement to run consecutively with his six-year stretch for the fatal crash.

He was also disqualified from driving for five years and is required to take an extended retest.

Sergeant Wood said: “The court has sent a clear message out that drivers who drive dangerously while over the drink-drive limit will face a lengthy custodial sentence.”

After the sentencing Mr Messenger’s partner Elizabeth Pearce said: “Nick was a devoted partner and father. We will love and miss him forever.

“To all those who drink and drive, let this be a lesson.”

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