Five-year prison sentence for killer drink-driver welcomed by police
Police say they hope the jail sentence handed down to killer driver Sean Flynn today will be a lesson to other motorists tempted to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs.
Sean Flynn, 32, is facing more than five years behind bars after his actions led to the death of 84-year-old Norma Hall. He had been driving his heavily modified Fiat Punto when he collided with Mrs Hall's Suzuki Alto on Jarrow Road.
Police attended and found Flynn was more than twice the legal drink-drive limit, and also had drugs in his system.
They also found he had been driving at more than 60mph through the 40mph zone prior to the accident on the afternoon of November 4, 2014.
Flynn was today jailed for five years and three months at Newcastle Crown Court and handed a five-year driving ban upon his release from prison.
Sergeant Steve Minnikin, of Northumbria Police's Motor Patrols department, said: "This sentence is the culmination of a lengthy and prolonged investigation into a collision that claimed an innocent life.
"We are glad to see this offender brought to justice and hope his punishment will serve as a reminder to motorists of the tragic consequences of drink and drug driving.
"Our deepest condolences go to Norma's family and we hope that the sentence handed down today gives them some comfort during what must have been a incredibly difficult time."
Northumbria Police's Op Dragoon is aimed at targeting dangerous drivers and is particularly focused on those who get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
During their recent Christmas Drink and Drug Drive Campaign the force made 148 arrests, and Motor Patrols Chief Inspector John Heckels said the force will continue to put offenders before the courts.
He said: "The vast majority of rmotorists abide by the law, but this incident shows the devastating impact one individual can have when they flout the rules of the road.
"This tragedy was totally unavoidable and quite simply should never have happened. We are pleased with the sentence today, but it will not bring Norma back to her family.
"Op Dragoon will continue to patrol our region's roads to keep you safe, and we will continue to take action against anyone who puts the lives of others at risk."
* If you suspect a person of driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, contact the Op Dragoon team on 101, or dial 999 in an emergency.