Ex-guardsman binged on cocaine and downed 11 pints before killing teen in high-speed 3am crash

A FORMER soldier downed 11 pints before killing a teenage passenger in a high speed crash, a court heard.

Daniel Williams, 34, had also taken cocaine during a 12 hour binge before he got behind the wheel.

Daniel Williams, 34, was jailed for six years and eight months at Swansea crown court
Daniel Williams, 34, was jailed for six years and eight months at Swansea crown court
Media Wales

He killed his 17-year-old passenger Jack Whittaker after offering him a lift to a party when he lost control of his Mini Cooper.

Williams was jailed for six years and eight months.

Prosecutor Catherine Richards said Williams offered Jack and friends a lift when they left a rugby club at 3am.

She said they boys asked Williams if he was OK to drive – and the former Welsh Guardsman said he was “fine.”

His 17-year-old passenger Jack Whittaker died in the crash after Williams lost control of his car on a bend
His 17-year-old passenger Jack Whittaker died in the crash after Williams lost control of his car on a bend
Media Wales

“By 3am the defendant was very significantly over the limit – and must have known it,” Miss Richards said.

Williams told his passengers “watch how fast it goes around the bend” before speeding up on a bend and losing control.

Miss Richards said: “This driving was an extremely dangerous piece of bravado by a man under the influence of substances.

“Jack Whittaker was in no way to blame – there is no suggestion he was encouraging the driving, or was distracting the driver. He was the entirely innocent victim of the defendant’s drunken risk taking.”

The court heard Williams crashed the car in Seven Sisters, near Neath, south Wales and fled the scene.

Jack was killed instantly when the car struck a fence post.

Williams was taken to hospital the next morning and when police arrived tests showed he was six times the legal limit for cocaine.

Blood tests estimated he was two-and-a-half times the drink drive limit at the time of the crash.

CCTV showed Williams had been drinking in Banwen Rugby Club for 12 hours before the crash, and had bought or been given 11 pints.

Williams of Pill, Bristol, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

The court heard Williams had previous convictions for drink-driving, speeding, and being drunk and disorderly.

James Hartson, defending, said Williams had served with Welsh Guards between 2002 and 2009 and toured Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Balkans.

Williams was jailed for six years and eight months and banned from driving for seven years.

Judge Geraint Walters told Williams the cocktail of drink and drugs he had taken “resulted in the bravado you displayed when you went into that bend”.

He said: “You now realise that your conduct that night – for which only you can be blamed – caused the death of a much-loved young man who had the better part of his life ahead of him.

“It is often said, and rightly so, that a parent should never have to bury a child – especially when the death results from such an obviously avoidable cause. To say their world has been shattered is an understatement.”


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