A MAN who crashed his van with a friend inside who died and proceeded to fall asleep rather than call the emergency services was sentenced to eight years and seven months behind bars yesterday.

Paul Nigel Bennett, from Bridlington, was socialising with his friend, 49 year-old Simon Maving, in Malton on the night of September 15.

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After consuming large amounts of alcohol, he made the decision to get into his Renault van and drive the pair back to his home in Bridlington.

The van left the road in the village of North Grimston shortly after 11pm and collided with a tree.

Paul’s friend Simon Maving suffered serious injuries in the collision but instead of calling the emergency services, Bennett climbed into the back of the van and went to sleep.

The vehicle was discovered early the next morning when emergency services arrived, Simon Maving was sadly pronounced dead.

Bennett was then treated for his injuries in hospital and a blood sample was submitted for toxicology.

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After this it was found that Bennett was three times over the limit when he drove his friend back from Malton.

Mick Roffe, head of roads policing, said: “The consequences of Bennett’s actions cannot be underestimated. His decision to get behind the wheel of his van and drive that night resulted in the tragic loss of Simon Maving’s life, the impact of which will be felt by Simon’s family and friends forever.

“I hope Bennett’s sentence sends a strong and clear message to anyone thinking about getting behind the wheel after drinking. Doing so is a selfish and thoughtless act which carries severe and lasting consequences.”

Sergeant Adam Elliot from North Yorkshire Police’s Major Collision Investigation Team said: “Bennett’s total disregard for the safety of his friend and other road users is inexcusable but the fact that following the collision he simply went to sleep instead of calling for help is even more despicable.

“The Judge in court commented that Bennett’s driving record of several previous convictions for drink driving offences showed ‘an air of inevitability’ and that he had failed to learn from his past actions which should be a warning to other repeat offenders.”

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“Bennett’s sentence reflects the severity of his actions and I hope will bring some small comfort to Simon’s family.”


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