Drink driver ‘de­stroyed a fam­ily’ in crash

Caernarfon Herald - - YOUR COMMUNITY -

ADRIVER in­volved in a head-on smash which killed a deputy mayor and left her son and his part­ner with life-chang­ing in­juries has been jailed for three years.

Si­mon Gi­lyeat had ar­gued with a friend at a mountain bike event and was driv­ing a Mazda north on the A470 at Com­mins Coch, near Machyn­l­leth, when he smashed into a Skoda Oc­tavia driven by Sylvia Row­lands on Septem­ber 23, 2017, Mold Crown Court heard.

Gi­lyeat had been drink­ing, had taken drugs, and crossed the cen­tre of the road into the path of Ms Row­lands’ ve­hi­cle.

She ap­peared to have taken eva­sive ac­tion be­fore the fa­tal col­li­sion, said pros­e­cu­tor David Main­stone.

Ms Row­lands had not long cel­e­brated her 70th birth­day, was de­scribed as a care­ful driver, and had gone to pick up her son Mark Row­lands and his part­ner Kylie Wil­liams when the crash hap­pened.

Ms Row­lands died at the scene, while Mr Row­lands suf­fered mul­ti­ple frac­tures in­clud­ing to his wrist, spine and ribs.

Ms Wil­liams suf­fered in­juries in­clud­ing a frac­tured fe­mur, her head was split open, she lost half her scalp, en­dured a bro­ken eye socket and now suf­fers short term mem­ory loss and is at risk of seizures.

It dev­as­tated her fam­ily and the lo­cal com­mu­nity as trib­utes poured in for Ms Row­lands – a mother of two sons and grand­mother of four.

Gi­lyeat, 32, of Rickards Street, Graig, near Pon­typridd, ad­mit­ted caus­ing the death of Ms Row­lands and se­ri­ous in­jury to Mr Row­lands and Ms Wil­liams by dan­ger­ous driv­ing.

Mr Main­stone said he had a blood al­co­hol read­ing of 134ml in 100ml of blood, with the le­gal limit be­ing 80ml, and there were traces of cannabis and co­caine in his sys­tem.

A col­li­sion ex­pert es­tab­lished Gily- eat had crossed over onto Ms Row­lands’ side of the road and smashed “vir­tu­ally head-on” into her car.

“There was a can of Stella lager and an empty pub glass and two other empty cans found in the car, a bag of cannabis and a bag of uniden­ti­fied white pow­der,” said Mr Main­stone.

Gi­lyeat was also left in hos­pi­tal for five weeks with se­ri­ous in­juries after the col­li­sion.

Si­mon Mor­gan, de­fend­ing, said the de­fen­dant “made a full and frank ad­mis­sion of his guilt and ex­pressed shame, re­gret and re­morse” in a later po­lice in­ter­view.

Sen­tenc­ing Gi­lyeat to six years – three in jail and three on li­cence – Judge Ti­mothy Petts said: “They were in the wrong place at the wrong time and vic­tims of a dan­ger­ous driver com­ing in the other di­rec­tion.

“You killed one per­son and se­ri­ously in­jured two oth­ers, de­stroy­ing a fam­ily in the process.”

Gi­lyeat was also banned from driv­ing for seven years.

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