The boss of an engineering firm who was drunk behind the wheel when he killed a young motorcyclist has been jailed for three years.
The sentence has sparked anger from the victim’s family who branded it a ‘joke’.
Steven Smith, boss of Willenhall firm SJS Engineering, was almost twice the drink-drive limit when he took a breath test hours after the collision.
Smith hit Ryan Husted’s motorbike while looking for a ‘non existent’ parking space.
The 52-year-old had a clear view but did not see the approaching Kawasaki as he swung across the carriageway and came to a standstill blocking the bike’s side of the road outside a parade of shops in Cresswell Crescent, Mossley.
Mr Husted’s bike careered into the VW Golf. The 25-year-old died instantly when he hit a bus shelter in the tragedy in March, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
Smith was taken to hospital following the accident at 11.30am and did not take a breath test until 3.15pm when the reading was 67 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.
Family man Smith, from Muirfield Close, Bloxwich, had started to get treatment for a drink problem shortly before the smash. He, told police he had downed four or five cans of lager and two ‘home measures’ of brandy but had stopped boozing by 9.45pm.
Smith admitted careless driving while over the drink-drive limit.
Judge Robin Onions who told him: “Only you will ever know why you were moving into a parking space where none was available but you completely blocked the road.”
Smith was also banned from driving for four years and ordered to pay £1,200 costs.
Factory worker Mr Husted lived in Parker Street, Bloxwich. His mother Angela, 47, said after the case: “He was our golden boy and the family all think the sentence was a joke. The driver will be out of jail in 18 months carrying on with his life, so where is the justice in that? He should never have been behind the wheel of a car with his drink problem.”
His father Paul, a 49-year-old press setter operator, added: “I am in shock. We are disgusted by the outcome and feel let down by the system. The Government needs to do something about drink drivers.”