A MAN has been jailed for six years after he being found guilty of causing death by careless driving while over the drink-drive limit.
Nicholas Cutmore, 24, formerly of Lowa Road, Tidworth, was sentenced on Tuesday following a trial at Salisbury Crown Court.
At just after 10pm on December 22, 2016, Cutmore, formerly of the Royal Welsh Regiment, was driving his Suzuki Swift along the A338 from Tidworth in the direction of Shipton Bellinger having been drinking alcohol for most of the afternoon and early evening.
Cutmore claimed he was dazzled by oncoming headlights before his car hit David Gunson, denying causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed limit.
He was convicted by a jury on Monday. At his sentencing on Tuesday the court heard Cutmore had been drunk before he left his barracks to continue drinking at The Ram pub in Tidworth,
Mr Gunson, 65, of Ludgershall Road, Tidworth, who was cycling to work for South West Trains, suffered serious injuries and was taken to Southampton General Hospital but died the following day.
‘I cannot stress enough the dangers of drink or drug-driving, and this case sadly demonstrates how catastrophic the consequences can be.’
Forensic collision investigator Lucy Fair, of the Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Not only did Cutmore get behind the wheel of his vehicle having consumed a considerable quantity of alcohol at his home address and at the local pub, he made off from the scene of the collision leaving Mr Gunson in the road with serious injuries, which tragically, he never recovered from.
“A police dog attended the scene and completed an area search with his handler and located personal property approximately 100 metres away, including a mobile phone and bank card belonging to Cutmore. These items were seized and the following day, Cutmore was arrested.
“He has shown no remorse for his actions and his not guilty plea meant the family of Mr Gunson were faced with a trial which lasted over a week and was no doubt extremely upsetting and distressing for them.
“Cutmore had no regard to the risk he posed to other road users, or to himself. He had a blood alcohol level of at least 155mg/100ml – the legal limit is 80mg/100ml.
“He was in no way fit to drive and in fact, those who saw him prior to the collision have told us he could barely stand up straight due to the level of alcohol he had consumed.
“I cannot stress enough the dangers of drink or drug-driving, and this case sadly demonstrates how catastrophic the consequences can be.
“My thoughts are with the family of Mr Gunson at this tragic time.”
As well as the prison sentence, Cutmore was given a six-year driving disqualification which will come into effect when he is released.
Mr Gunson had been married to wife Christine for more than 37 years. They met while he was in the Army Catering Corp and married two years later, continuing to live in Tidworth.