Norfolk

Drink-driver Matthew Richie jailed for fatal collision

Matthew Ritchie Image copyright Norfolk Police provided
Image caption Matthew Ritchie crashed his car while driving on the wrong side of the road

A disqualified driver who killed a 61-year-old woman in a car crash while he was over the drink-drive limit has been jailed for four years.

Matthew Ritchie, of The Laurels, Hopton-on-Sea, Norfolk, drove his car on the wrong side of the A146 in Hales after drinking at a pub last April.

Driver Dawn Bartlett died in hospital the day after the head on crash.

Ritchie, 38, who admitted causing death by dangerous driving, was also banned from driving for six years.

Norfolk Police said Ritchie had been using his mobile phone at the time of the crash, which happened at about 03:20 BST on 27 April.

'Reckless actions'

Steve Matthews, from Norfolk Police's serious collision investigation team, said: "Ritchie should not have been behind the wheel of the car on the night of the collision.

"Despite having lost his licence and drinking alcohol, he drove anyway.

"His use of a mobile phone whilst driving compounded his alcohol consumption, and his reckless actions have cost a family their mother and also caused lasting distress to the witness to the collision."

A blood test found Ritchie, who was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court, had 99mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

The legal limit is 80mg, police said.

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