Drunk driver jailed for causing death of passenger in County Derry crash

A 23-year-old County Derry man who was driving when his car crashed killing a 20-year-old woman passenger, has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Kevin Brolly from Rannyglass in Dungiven, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Claire Kelly by careless driving when he appeared at Derry Crown Court.

He also pleaded guilty to drink driving and to driving without insurance.

Jailing Brolly, Judge Piers Grant said that by his actions, he had deprived a family of a loving sister, daughter and granddaughter.

Outlining the circumstances of the incident Judge Grant said that at midnight on Sunday 11 December of last year, Brolly together with his passengers, Claire Kelly and her boyfriend, was seen by members of a police mobile patrol driving in an erratic manner in the village of Fenny.

When he saw the police, Brolly made a hand-brake turn and drove off at speed in the opposite direction towards Claudy.

The police gave chase but the erratic nature of Brolly's driving, combined with his speed, forced them to abandon the chase as it would have been too dangerous.

Brolly was later seen overtaking a car in the Glenshane Road without his headlights on.

He lost control on a bend, and his car crashed into a field and overturned. Judge Grant said Miss Kelly was trapped inside the car.

She was still breathing at the scene but died in hospital.

When Brolly was breathalysed, he was found to be over the legal limit.

Brolly will serve 18 months in custody and 18 months on licence.

Brolly was also disqualified from driving for five years.