Jail for drink drive mum who killed daughter

James Watson and daughter Ruby.
James Watson and daughter Ruby.
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A mother of two who killed her fiancé and their six-year-old daughter in a “catastrophic” car crash while almost double the drink-driving limit has been jailed for two years.

Carly Tomlinson had drunk two pints of lager and lime and three vodka and cokes before her blue Fiat Panda hit a stone wall in Belper, Derbyshire, in the early hours of Sunday, April 30 last year.

Her fiancé, James Watson, 28, and their daughter, Ruby Watson, were passengers in the car, which mounted the kerb before colliding with a telegraph pole.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene while Tomlinson, 24, suffered a broken back, pelvis and ribs.

Nottingham Crown Court heard Tomlinson had been travelling at 43mph in a 30mph zone on the two-mile journey back to her home from the Marehay Miners’ Welfare Club.

Her young daughter was “not properly secured” in her booster seat and Mr Watson was not wearing a seat belt at all.

The prosecution said “she simply had a very poor recollection of events that morning” when she was interviewed by officers in the months following the crash.

At a previous hearing in June, Tomlinson, of Nottingham Road, Belper, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by careless driving while unfit through drink.

As well as her prison term, she was disqualified from driving for four years.

Judge Gregory Dickinson QC told the former cleaner and police support worker: “In any view, this case is both serious and tragic.

“No-one here knows why you drove. You should not have been driving. You knew that you must have had too much to drink.

“I suspect the physical injury is nothing compared to the emotional damage you have done to yourself.”

The judge added: “You were driving well over the speed limit in a residential area. The fact is you simply failed to slow down.

“You took a risk driving while over the limit and driving too fast. You could have killed anyone.

“You killed your own child and your fiancé – people that you loved and people that loved you. You will be haunted by this for the rest of your life.”

Defending Tomlinson, Raglan Ashton said she had received numerous counselling sessions in order to come to terms with the loss of her fiancé and daughter.

He said: “She understands the level of resentment towards her.

“She says, ‘I will never forgive myself and not a day goes by when I don’t think of James and Ruby’ and, given the chance, she would put herself in their place.”

A funeral for Ruby and Mr Watson took place last July at At Peter’s Church in Belper.

Tomlinson and her fiancé had been due to marry three months ago.

After the hearing, Detective Sgt Donna Tovell of Derbyshire Police, said: “This case shows the tragic consequences that can result from drink driving.”