A banned drink-driver doing more than double the speed limit in a stolen car has been jailed for killing a dad in a hit-and-run crash.
Reece Dunkley was doing 74mph in a 30mph zone seconds before he mounted the pavement and smashed into Stanley Shelton – described by his devastated wife as the “best father and husband”.
The out-of-control Seat Leon also destroyed a bus stop and a wall before it finally came to rest – but the driver ran away in a bid to save his own skin.
Dunkley, 29, was arrested two hours later and was nearly three times the drink-drive limit.
He was jailed for nine years at Wolverhampton Crown Court today, Tuesday, June 16, after admitting causing death by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, with no insurance and while over the limit for alcohol.
After the hearing, Mr Shelton’s wife described the 83-year-old as the “best husband I could ever ask for”.
She went on: “He was the most gentle man, he never argued with anyone, he was kind, friendly and would do anything to help anyone if he could.
“He was a very honest person and was very well liked, he had many friends.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the cards and condolences that I have received from so many people, which just goes to show how many lives he touched. He truly was the very best husband and father.
“I will miss him every day, we went everywhere together but this is one journey that I cannot go on with him.”
The crash happened in Simms Lane in Netherton, Dudley, on the morning of March 7.
West Midlands Police said Dunkley, of Kilburn Place, Netherton, had stolen the car from his ex-partner hours earlier and had been speeding just metres before the collision.
Mr Shelton, who was only metres from his home, died at the scene.
The sentence was welcomed by Det Sgt Paul Hughes, from the force’s serious collision investigation unit.
He said: “This was a really tragic but totally avoidable case, where Dunkley selfishly chose to drive a stolen car, knowing he had been drinking and was disqualified from driving, and stole the life of another man.
“Dunkley showed no remorse for his actions and cowardly ran from the scene, instead of trying to help Mr Shelton or hand himself in.
“Nothing will bring Stan back, but I am pleased his family have not had to be put through the ordeal of a trial and they will find comfort knowing he has been brought to justice.”