Driver jailed for crash death of soldier Gordon Quigley

Photograph of L/Cpl Quigley
Image caption L/Cpl Quigley was due to return to Afghanistan to complete a tour of duty

A man has been jailed after a soldier died in a crash on Teesside.

L/Cpl Gordon Quigley, 26, based at Catterick Garrison, was travelling in a Ford Focus which left the road and hit a lamp-post in Billingham in April.

Driver Christopher Howson, who had no licence and was twice the legal alcohol limit at the time, admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

The judge at Teesside Crown Court jailed the 24-year-old, of Billingham, for six years.

The court heard that Howson had agreed to drive a friend's car home after a day out watching football and drinking.

Best man

However, he ignored warnings from his passengers to slow down, and veered into the central reservation on Wolviston Road.

Front seat passenger L/Cpl Quigley was pronounced dead in hospital.

His commanding officer at Catterick, Lt Col Kimberas, described the serviceman as a "talented junior commander who had a bright future ahead of him", and who was due to return to Afghanistan to complete a tour of duty.

Howson's barrister said his client had been Mr Quigley's best man and did not want to offer any mitigation.

He said Howson was aware he had killed his best friend and was prepared to take the punishment.

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