South West Wales

Drink-driver jailed for killing friend in Maesteg crash

Nichoas Darkes Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption Nicholas Darkes was two-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit

A "cowardly" drink-driver has been jailed for six years for causing a crash which killed his friend.

Nicholas Darkes, 26, from Neath, had previously admitted causing Adam McGuire's death by careless driving while over the limit.

Mr McGuire, 36, died at the scene and Darkes' father Neil suffered fractures to his neck and ribs.

Cardiff Crown Court heard that Darkes, who was a learner driver, was two-and-a-half times the drink-drive limit.

He was estimated to have been driving between 60mph and 70mph when he crashed at Caerau, Maesteg, on 10 January.

Witnesses saw him climb out of a car window and flee the scene on foot, leaving his passengers behind.

Mr McGuire's brother Ryan told the court he thought Darkes was "a coward".

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Adam McGuire's family said he was "a loving son, brother and uncle who will be greatly missed"

He said: "I've known him since I was a young boy, and considered him a family friend up until the day he killed my brother Adam.

"I cannot even understand how you ran away from the scene and left my brother to die all alone.

"I cannot express the anger and hate I have for you."

Darkes, who had been previously banned for drink-driving in 2011, was also banned from driving for nine years.

Judge Eleri Rees told him: "You demonstrated no concern for the welfare of your passengers.

"I've no doubt the guilt could and should remain with you for the whole of your life."

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