Market Harborough man jailed for causing death of girl while drunk-driving

William Wallace
William Wallace

A drunk driver from Market Harborough who caused the death of a teenage girl after he crashed a van in which she was a passenger, has been sent to prison for three years and 10 months.

William Wallace (pictured), of The Broadway, Market Harborough, was travelling in a van with his friend Emmanuel Price and two teenage girls in Violet Lane, Rothwell, on November 29, 2013 when the crash happened.

Steven Coupland, prosecuting at Northampton Crown Court, said Wallace, who only had a provisional licence, asked Price, who owned the van, if he could drive it despite knowing he had been drinking.

The court heard when Wallace started driving, Price encouraged him to go faster. The van reached an estimated speed of 60mph, with the two girls shouting at Wallace to slow down.

As the vehicle approached the end of Violet Lane, a cul-de-sac just off the A14, Wallace braked hard and also applied the handbrake. But the car crashed into a barrier at the end of the road and flipped over on to the edge of the dual carriageway.

Mr Coupland said all four occupants in the vehicle including Alysha Bell, 16, were catapulted out of the vehicle.

Ms Bell, from Broughton near Kettering, suffered a fractured skull and internal bleeding. She died three days later.

The other teenage girl in the van suffered a fractured pelvis and elbow and still has no feeling on her right hand.

Wallace and Price managed to escape the crash with relatively minor injuries.

Mr Coupland said that after the crash Wallace become aggressive towards police officers and had to be arrested. After being breathalysed, he was found to be more than twice the legal alcohol limit for driving.

Wallace pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. Price pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting causing death by dangerous driving but was found guilty after a trial.

In a victim statement read to the court, Ms Bell’s mother said she had been “robbed of the opportunity to see her daughter grow up, get married and have children.”

Judge Rupert Mayo, sentencing, said: “This was an accident that could have caused far more deaths. The van could have struck another vehicle on the A14.

“The driving of Wallace was a clear and substantial risk of danger. He was twice the legal alcohol limit, he was unlicensed, uninsured. Price did not stem Wallace’s aggressive driving, he even encouraged him to go faster.”

Price, 22, of Greenacres Caravan Park, Market Harborough, was sentenced to six years and two months in jail. He was banned from driving for four years.