A drink driver who caused the death of a mother-of-two by dangerous driving in Bethel has been jailed for eight years and four months.
Anna Evans from Aberystwyth died in hospital nine days after her tent was run over by a car at the Rhyd-y-Galen campsite in August.
Jake Waterhouse (27) from Partington, Greater Manchester, previously pleaded guilty to four charges, including driving without a licence or insurance and failing to provide a breath sample in police custody.
He was also banned from driving for twelve years and four months when he appeared at Mold Crown Court on Tuesday.
Police said Waterhouse’s ”selfless, reckless” actions were ”devastating”.
Anna Roselyn Evans (46), who worked at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, had arrived at Rhyd-y-Galen with her husband, Huw, on Sunday 18th August.
At around 2am the following morning, Waterhouse, who had been drinking heavily on a fishing trip, took a friend’s Subaru Impreza and drove around the site.
He had already crashed into one tent, causing injury to one person, before driving over the tent where Mr and Mrs Evans were staying.
Five people had to lift the car off Mrs Evans, who was trapped underneath. She was taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd, but later transferred to a specialist trauma unit at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.
She never regained consciousness and died from her injuries nine days after the incident. Two other men, including Mr Evans, and a woman were also injured but later released from hospital.
Waterhouse tested positive for driving under the influence of alcohol when he was arrested, but when he was taken into custody, he failed to give a formal breath sample.
The court heard he had a provisional driving licence but had not passed his test. During the trip, a friend had suggested he could learn to drive on private land and there would not be many people on the campsite.
After the incident, Waterhouse fled the scene and sent a text to his friend – but he surrendered to police after phoning his mother, who told him to ‘do the right thing’.
At Caernarfon Crown Court two days after the incident, Waterhouse admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
The defence said he took ”full responsibility” and was ”deeply remorseful for his actions”. He accepted he was facing a ”lengthy sentence’‘ for what happened, and felt he deserved to be punished.
Waterhouse, who had a number of previous convictions, pleaded guilty to causing Mrs Evans’ death by dangerous driving before he was sentenced at Mold.
Judge Rhys Rowlands told the court the jail sentence would be reduced by a third because of the guilty plea.
But he said Waterhouse had shown ”complete disregard for the safety of others” in a ”particularly poignant” case, noting it was an understatement to say it was ”the height of drunken stupidity”.
The judge added Mrs Evans ”lost her life in front of her husband in quite the most horrific way” and that the defendant’s drunken state and lack of driving experience was ”pretty much an accident waiting to happen”.
In a brief statement issued via police, Mrs Evans’ family thanked police for their ‘thorough handling’ of the investigation and asked for privacy. They did not attend the court hearing.
In a Facebook message following her death, Mrs Evans’ son Richard said: ”Tonight I had to say goodbye to the most amazing woman I’ve ever known. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.”
”She inspired me to do music, art and to always ‘do the next interesting thing’. I know I’ll do you proud. I love you, Mam. I hope you’re dreaming of a starry night. Here’s to the next interesting thing.”
After sentencing, Sergeant Dafydd Curry said: ”This was a horrific incident, where the mindless actions of an individual have taken the life of an innocent person.”
”The loss of life in any circumstance is a terrible ordeal for any family to suffer, however in this case, Jake Waterhouse, who tested positive for the influence of alcohol upon his initial arrest – chose to drive that car around a campsite, where people rightly have an expectation of safety.”
”His selfish, reckless actions are devastating, and this message has been reflected in the sentence passed today.”