Express & Star

Drunk driver jailed for causing death by dangerous driving of Harry Chapman in Walsall

A drunk speeding driver who crashed into an oncoming car resulting in the death of a 20-year-old has been jailed for more than 11 years.


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Harry Chapman was just two weeks away from celebrating his 21st birthday when Scott Gorey’s Jaguar XF struck his silver Ford Fiesta in Aldridge Road in Streetly in Walsall on October 8 last year.

Gorey, of Sutton Road, also in Walsall had been drinking at a funeral before getting behind the wheel and driving away when he was stopped by police officers who saw the car being driven an "erratic" manner minutes before the crash.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard he was more than twice the limit and measured 194 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system. The legal limit is 80.

He was also driving at speeds of up to 97mph in a 30mph residential zone.

Gorey, aged 52, of Sutton Road, Walsall was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday after previously admitting an offence of causing Mr Chapman's death by dangerous driving.

Judge Michael Chambers KC said: "This remains an appalling case of death by dangerous driving.

"It was completely avoidable as poignantly expressed by Harry's mother Claire Chapman in her impact statement, that for the sake of a £40 taxi fare, you have cause untold misery and human loss.

"I have indicated that your basis of plea is not accepted by the court."

Four photographs of Harry Chapman, who was just two weeks away from celebrating his 21st birthday.

Prosecuting barrister Miss Jennifer Joseph played a short clip of the moment Gorey overtook an Audi with dashcam before colliding with the Fiesta.

The judge said: "You overtook the Audi at great speed. Coming in the opposite direction was Harry Chapman. He clearly did not stand a chance."

He told Gorey that aggravating factors in the crime included the high level of alcohol, the high speed and his previous convictions for drink driving in 2003 and failing to provide a specimen in 2003.

Mitigating for Gorey, who is using crutches due to suffering a broken leg in the fatal crash, barrister Mr Joey Kwong said the defendant had "cut out the drinking" since the tragedy and was remorseful.

Gorey, a property manager, was jailed for 11 years and three months. He must serve two-thirds of the term before release. In addition he was banned from driving for 13 years and six months.

In separate victim impact statements Mr Chapman's parents Claire and Adam told the court their lives "will never be the same" following the tragedy.