Illegal migrant jailed for drunk death smash

Jailed: Eduard Mereohra
Jailed: Eduard Mereohra
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An illegal immigrant has been jailed for nine years after he killed a couple when he ploughed into the back of their car at a speed approaching 100mph while drunk.

Eduard Mereohra smashed into the back of David and Dorothy Metcalf’s Fiat on New Year’s Day, with so much force it was thrown 10ft into the air and flipped end over end before coming to rest.

Anthony and Dorothy Metcalf

Anthony and Dorothy Metcalf

Mr Metcalf, 68, was killed instantly while his 65-year-old wife was found hanging out of the rear passenger window and later died.

Afterwards members of his family and Leeds North West MP, Greg Mulholland, called for a Government inquiry into the case.

In a statement, the couple’s son and daughter, Clive and Lindsay, said: “On top of our grief, we also have a number of questions that we need the Government and the immigration authorities to answer about how Mereohra was able to exist in the UK without detection, especially after his previous deportation.

“While we hold Mereohra responsible for his actions, we feel that our beloved mum and dad would still be alive today if the system had not failed by allowing him to be at liberty in the UK.”

“We were a very close family and we are lost without them. This incident has shocked the community and devastated our family,” it added.

Mereohra had been out drinking on New Year’s Eve and the following morning was collecting parcels in his car with a passenger.

Leeds Crown Court was told how several witnesses had earlier seen him driving at speed, tailgating motorists and forcing them to brake sharply when he overtook them.

Mereohra, from Moldova, who had entered the country illegally on two occasions, was driving along the Stanningley bypass near Leeds in his Volvo C70 when he crashed into the back of the couple’s car.

The court was told he was twice the drink-drive limit having attended a New Year’s Eve party, later telling police he had drunk beer, whisky and champagne.

Mereohra, 26, ran away from the scene of the accident after initially approaching the wrecked vehicle, and lied in police interviews about who was behind the wheel, the court was told.

Judge Geoffrey Marson said Mereohra had “callously” tried to blame Mr Metcalf for causing the accident and had done “almost everything you could to protect yourself.”

He described the victims as “decent and hard-working”, who had “everything in their retirement to look forward to.”

He added: “You had been drinking heavily throughout the night and early in the morning that dreadful day.

“You were driving your motor car and were collecting parcels at 11 in the morning.

“You have been described as being ‘very drunk’.

“There then followed a prolonged, persistent and deliberate course of very bad driving at a time when you were about twice the legal limit for driving.

“I emphasise deliberate because the evidence shows that on the dual carriageway you were driving close behind a number of other vehicles, overtaking them at speed and cutting sharply in front of them causing them to brake.

“This was otherwise a clear dual carriageway and the only conclusion I can draw is that in your drunken state you had made a deliberate decision to drive aggressively in relation to other motor vehicles at that time.”

The judge added: “Your motor car was a weapon achieving a speed of 90mph-100mph in a 60mph limit.”

Mereohra, 26, from Autumn Grove, Burley, admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.