Jail for ‘deluded and ill-tempered’ driver who ‘used car as a weapon’
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A driver who killed a man walking near his home, robbing his family of a ‘devoted husband, father and tad-cu’, has been jailed.
Barry Thomas, aged 73, was found to have been driving too close to the car in front of him, not allowing enough time to react when passing pedestrian Brian Guest on the B4317 near Ffos Las.
He convicted of causing the 61-year-old’s death at Swansea Crown Court last month, and was sentenced on Friday, November 17.
The court heard that Thomas was driving his black Mercedes on January 23, 2022, when he swerved into the nearside verge. As he did, he collided with Mr Guest, who was walking home. The 61-year-old suffered catastrophic injuries and died in hospital in the company of his loved ones.
Thomas denied that his driving was dangerous, attempting to shift the blame onto an innocent driver who he also collided with. But evidence was given by the driver of the car in front of Thomas, proving the defendant was too close. The witness told he court he had seen Mr Guest walking towards him on his nearside, and that he had moved towards the middle of the road to give him space. As he did so, he saw Thomas’s car alongside the passenger side of his vehicle, before it collided with Mr Guest.
Dyfed-Powys Police officer in case Sergeant Sara John said: “What made this incident even more heart-breaking was that Mr Guest’s wife heard a disturbance outside their home and went outside to find out what was going on.
“She then realised that her husband had been struck by a car and was seriously injured. Despite seeing the devastation he had caused, the defendant still denied that his actions amounted to dangerous driving.”
In a victim impact statement, Mr Guest’s wife spoke directly told the defendant, saying: “You used your car as a weapon that day, a weapon that killed Brian. Your actions that day were avoidable, and you have shown no remorse for your actions. We no longer have our normal lives.”
Mr Guest’s family later added: “The defendant has destroyed our lives, stolen our future with Brian, and robbed us of a wonderful, devoted husband, father and tad-cu.”
Thomas, of Garden Suburbs in Kidwelly, was sentenced to eight years in prison, with a 10 year driving ban.
On sentencing, HHJ Geraint Walters described Thomas as ‘deluded and an ill-tempered driver’. He added: “Your impatience on the day took the life of a healthy 61-year-old man – a loving son, husband, adored father and grandfather who should have seen them grow up. You have left the family devastated by your actions.”