Marcus Haynes died in accident: Christopher Fenton jailed in Hastings Brighton News

A SPEEDING drug driver entered a family car and left the driver dead and the passenger seriously injured.

Christopher Fenton, 40, was over the cannabis limit when he got behind the wheel of his Audi on his way home to Fairlight.

He had also had two pints after work when he returned from Hastings to the village.

Marcus Haynes was driving with his wife Pamela and son Jeremy in a Citroën Picasso when their vehicle was struck by Fenton in Battery Hill near a junction with Coastguard Lane.

He left Mr Haynes, 65, dead at the scene, and Ms Haynes was seriously injured and spent months in hospital with broken legs.

At Hove Crown Court, Fenton admitted causing death and serious injury by reckless driving.

Her Honor Judge Christine Laing QC said no sentence she could hand down could match the loss the Haynes family felt when they jailed Fenton for three years and eight months.

Hove Crown Court.  Image: Google

Hove Crown Court. Image: Google

In a moving statement read to the court, Ms Haynes said her husband was much loved.

She said, “He was a loving husband, father and son. We were all deeply affected by his untimely death.

“He was the head of our family, our anchor, our rock.”

Robin Miric, prosecuting, said the horror crash happened on March 6 of last year at 6:45 p.m.

A vehicle was cut off by Fenton’s vehicle, which he said caused him to lose control.

It reached speeds of 76 mph on the 60 mph road limit.

The accident occurred near the junction with Coastguard Lane, Fairlight on March 6, 2020 at 6:45 p.m.

The Argus: the scene of the accident where Marcus Haynes was killedThe scene of the accident where Marcus Haynes was killed

The Haynes family had traveled from Cheltenham so that Marcus could spread the ashes of his late mother in Sussex as she wished.

As they returned home to Gloucestershire, their trip turned into a nightmare.

Daniel Frier, defending, said Fenton himself returned to the scene after panicking on foot.

He was brought back by his mother, and then himself had to be operated on in hospital for severe damage to his spleen.

It was revealed that he was hitting the cannabis drug limit three times and was “on the cusp of the drinking and driving limit”.

The Argus: the scene of the accident at Fairlight caused by the dangerous pilot Christopher FentonThe scene of the accident at Fairlight caused by dangerous pilot Christopher Fenton

Police investigating the crash said it was caused by Fenton’s “inappropriate and excessive speeding”, and Judge Laing said the drugs and alcohol “impaired” his driving skills.

Judge Laing said: “Marcus Haynes was 65 at the time of his death and was much loved by all his family and friends and was known to all for his helpful and caring nature and great sense of humor.

“After caring for his mother for the last year of his life, he went to scatter his ashes in Sussex in a place important to her.

“Pamela suffered horrible injuries. Her recovery is a testament to the NHS care that she survived.

“Their son Jeremy escaped with minor injuries, but will no doubt suffer from the lasting impact of the loss and trauma.”

Fenton of Lower Waites Lane, Fairlight, was over the drug driving limit.

Christopher Fenton admitted causing the death of Marcus Haynes and serious injury to Pamela Haynes due to her dangerous driving for drugs at Fairlight

Christopher Fenton admitted causing the death of Marcus Haynes and serious injury to Pamela Haynes due to her dangerous driving for drugs at Fairlight

“I am convinced that the combination of alcohol and cannabis interfered with your ability to drive and control your vehicle,” said the judge.

“You didn’t go that night to hurt anyone. But no case better illustrates the potential consequences of leaving to drive in the state you were in.

“Each of us who gets behind the wheel bears a heavy responsibility to passengers, other road users and the public.

“If you don’t control the car, it becomes a lethal weapon.”

The judge said Fenton had expressed remorse. He was banned from driving for five years and ten months.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-11 16:33:55