A drunk driver who caused the death of a much-loved primary school teacher has been sent to jail for more than five years.
Simon Allport, 44, was driving “at high speed and aggressively” before hitting Amie Linton on July 14, 2020.
The two cars were traveling in opposite directions, Ms Linton, 33, was on her way home when Allport hit her with such force her Nissan Qashqai was thrown through a hedge and into a nearby field.
Allport, denied causing death by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing, however, he pleaded guilty to causing death by reckless driving.
Allport’s plea, from Ingleby Barwick, was accepted and on Friday afternoon he was jailed at Teesside Crown Court.
The court heard Allport previously had a drunk driving conviction in 2000 and a drunken and disorderly conviction in 1999, according to Teesside Live.
Prosecutor Soheil Khan said Allport drank two pints of lager with a friend at the Master Cooper Pub, on Acklam Road in Middlesbrough, around 4pm on July 14.
He offered his friend a ride in his new sports car and the two drove towards Coulby Newham in the BMW M4 Coupe. A driver of the A174 described hearing a “loud noise before being passed by the BMW”; another driver near Stokesley said Allport was ‘flying’ when she saw him ‘climbing the near side edge’.
A female driver of a Vauxhall Corsa said she screamed as she was on the bridge at Tantum and Allport came ‘hurting towards’ her, her car over the white line and in his way. At 5.30pm, as Allport negotiated a right turn past the bridge, he was a yard into Ms Linton’s lane.
Cars crashed and Ms Linton’s Nissan was forced off the road at an angle, spun 180 degrees before coming to rest in a field. Although two doctors stopped by to help Ms Linton, she was pronounced dead after arriving at hospital.
Allport was found to be driving over the blood alcohol limit. He later told a nurse at Harrogate Hospital that he “shouldn’t say in front of the police”, but that he was not wearing a seatbelt.
Amie Linton’s father, Richard Linton, spoke in court on behalf of his family and Ms Linton’s partner, Andrew: “On July 14, 2020, our lives were forever devastated. A police car pulled down to our quiet cul-de-sac and they told us that Amie had died in a car accident less than a mile away.
“It was the worst day of our lives. Amie’s friends had to collect her things from the pitch.
“It left my granddaughter without a mother and Andrew, her partner, had to raise her on his own while trying to run his own business. Our Amy worked hard to pursue her teaching career.
“She had a passion for helping children with their reading skills. We will never recover from this trauma. Having to write that statement is one of the hardest things to do and Amie will be forever missed.
Speaking on behalf of Andrew, Amie’s partner Richard Linton said: ‘My daughter has lost her mother and her best friend. I lost my support, my sounding board, my love and my life partner. My biggest fear now is that my daughter’s life will be ruined by Amie’s death, as ours has been.
Defending Allport, Eleanor Fry said an expert report concluded that the speed of the two vehicles “did not differ from each other but that there was sufficient evidence to determine which of the vehicles would have could drive faster”. Ms Fry said Allport, who is a site manager in the building industry, is genuinely remorseful.
Allport’s family listened from the public gallery; more than twenty members of Ms. Linton’s family and friends sat across the courtroom. Judge Paul Watson QC told the court that Amie was a “loving and caring partner, mother and teacher of young children. She was adored and respected by her family and those who knew her well.
He told Allport that “although it is not possible to say how fast you were driving at the time of the collision, it is clear that you were driving aggressively and at excessive speed.” Members of Ms Linton’s family wept as the judge jailed Allport for five years and seven months.
He was banned from driving for five years and ten months. The judge thanked “everyone in this court for the calm and dignity with which you conducted yourself”.
After the conviction, Major Collision Investigation Detective Inspector Jez Bartley of North Yorkshire Police said: ‘Simon Allport was found to be more than 1.5 times over the legal alcohol limit when he crashed his BMW into Aime Linton’s car. , and he will have to learn to live with the consequences of his selfish and deadly actions for the rest of his life.
“Driving after drinking alcohol destroys the lives of so many people. We welcome the judge’s sentencing today and hope it serves as a warning to those who mistakenly believe it is okay to drive while intoxicated.
“My thoughts and condolences go out to Amie’s family, who have shown incredible courage throughout this emotional investigation and legal process, after suffering unimaginable devastation.”
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