Drink driver slept in the back of crashed van while friend lay dying

Drink driver, 46, who crashed his van into tree then left his friend to die in passenger seat while he went to SLEEP in the back is jailed for eight years

  • Paul Bennett, 46, hit tree in North Grimston, Yorkshire while driving home with friend Simon Maving, and was three times over legal drink drive limit experts say 
  • As he slept in the back of his crashed Renault, Maving lay dying in the wreckage  
  • He was jailed for more than eight years after admitting causing death by driving 

A drink driver climbed into the back of his crashed van and went to sleep while his friend lay dying in the wreckage, a court heard.

Paul Bennett was jailed for eight years and seven months for leaving his passenger Simon Maving to die without raising the alarm.

York Crown Court heard he collided with a tree at North Grimston, North Yorkshire, when he was three times over the limit on 15 September 2020. 

Bennett, 46, admitted causing death by careless driving as the court heard Mr Maving was dead when his vehicle was found the following day by police.

Bennett had spent the evening drinking with Mr Maving, 49, in Malton,North Yorks, but decided to drive them both back to his home at Teal Garth, Bridlington.

Drink driver Paul Bennett, 46, (above) was jailed for eight years and seven months after falling asleep in his crashed van and leaving his passenger Simon Maving to die

Simon Maving, 49, (above) was found dead in the van after it was recovered by police by North Grimston, North Yorkshire, the following morning 

After the crash, Bennett climbed into the rear of his Renault van and went to sleep until the vehicle was found the following morning.

Bennett was taken to hospital for treatment and his blood was analysed.

Calculations, based on the amount of alcohol still in his system estimated that when he left Mr Maving’s Malton home he would have been more than three times the 80 milligram legal drink-drive limit.

Mick Roffe, head of roads policing, said: ‘The consequences of Bennett’s actions cannot be underestimated. 

His decision to get behind the wheel of his van and drive that night resulted in the tragic loss of Simon Maving’s life, the impact of which will be felt by Simon’s family and friends forever.

‘I hope Bennett’s sentence sends a strong and clear message to anyone thinking about getting behind the wheel after drinking. Doing so is a selfish and thoughtless act which carries severe and lasting consequences.’

Sergeant Adam Elliot from North Yorkshire Police’s Major Collision Investigation Team said: ‘Bennett’s total disregard for the safety of his friend and other road users is inexcusable but the fact that following the collision he simply went to sleep instead of calling for help is even more despicable.

‘The Judge in court commented that Bennett’s driving record of several previous convictions for drink driving offences showed ‘an air of inevitability’ and that he had failed to learn from his past actions which should be a warning to other repeat offenders.

‘Bennett’s sentence reflects the severity of his actions and I hope will bring some small comfort to Simon’s family.’

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