He stole my family from me
SHAMELESS killer driver Scott Easton robbed him of his family and his childhood.
Now crash survivor Macauley Gilbert has been faced with the reality the road menace who ripped his life apart has learned nothing from the tragedy.
Macauley, from Hebburn, South Tyneside, was just eight when he survived the horror smash which killed his mother Paula Gilbert, 29, her partner Neil Jex, 37, and their two sons – Tristan, three and Kaiden, seven months, in 2007.
Scott Easton was jailed for seven years after admitting four counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
Easton was dozing at the wheel when his Ford Transit van clipped the back of the family’s Citroen Saxo, in North Yorkshire, causing it to spin out of control and collide with trees.
Easton had just three hours sleep before getting behind the wheel, after a heavy drinking session the night before, Teesside Crown Court was told.
But now, 11 years on from the tragedy the 34-year-old has been back in court for driving with drugs in his system.
And Macauley, now 19, has today told of his shock.
He said: “It does make me angry, but I try not to think about him.
“It has been really difficult for me growing up without my family, but I have had all the support from my family. They are on my mind all the time. I remember the crash, it has stayed with me and it will probably stay with me forever.”
Macauley and his family were travelling from their home in Hebburn to Blackburn in Lancashire to see relatives when the crash happened.
The youngster was the only survivor in the car and was flown by air ambulance to the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Macauley was raised by his grandparents following the crash.
Easton was released on licence after serving half of his seven-year sentence.
But he was back in court this week where he admitted driving with THC and BZE – a cocaine breakdown product – in his system.
Teesside Magistrates Court heard from prosecutor Emma Barker that Easton was stopped at 11.40pm on
April 26 in Stockton driving a car on Bishopton Avenue in relation to another offence.
A drugs wipe was carried out that “subsequently tested positive for cocaine and cannabis,” she said.
Easton, of Rushyford Avenue, Stockton, had previously denied the two charges of driving with a proportion of a specified controlled drug in his system, but admitted his guilt on the day of his trial.
Liz McGowan, defending, said: “What he’s saying is he had taken these things some time before.
“Three days before he had taken the cocaine and he had smoked a joint of cannabis the night before, he believes about 11.30pm.”
She added: “He lives with his mum, he cares for his disabled sister, along with his mum. He was asked by his mum on this evening when he was stopped to go and find out what had happened to his brother. His brother had been involved in an incident.”
A letter from Easton’s mother was then handed to district judge Tim Capstick. Ms McGowan added: “Mum wanted you to know that she had asked him to go out. It doesn’t lessen his guilt but those are the circumstances.”
The court heard that Easton is not working at the moment. He was sentenced to a 12-month community order, must carry out 120 hours of unpaid work, pay prosecution costs of £620 and a victim surcharge of £85.
He was also disqualified from holding a driving licence for 16 months.
I remember the crash, it has stayed with me and it will probably stay with me forever Macauley Gilbert
Scott Easton at Teesside Magistrates Court