Angry relatives have attacked an eight-year sentence handed to a drunk kerb-crawler who killed three friends.

Allan Jackson, 39, pleaded guilty to three counts of causing death by dangerous driving after he mowed down the women on August 28, while three times over the drink-drive limit.

Jackson, who had two previous convictions for drink-driving, was attempting to evade arrest after police caught him in the red light district of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

The friends were returning home after a drink.

Jackson, who the prosecution alleged had also been taking cocaine, hit Angela Ovington, 28, Victoria Fisher, 27, and Susan Briggs, 30.

Miss Ovington, a teacher who was originally from Chester-le-Street, County Durham, was killed instantly. Miss Briggs, who worked at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and was originally from Durham City, died hours later.

Miss Fisher, a teacher whose family live in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, died from her injuries five days later in hospital.

Louise Tinkler, 28, from Chester-le-Street, who was with the women, narrowly escaped as she felt "the car brush against her jeans", Bradford Crown Court heard.

Passing a sentence of eight years for each offence, to run concurrently, Judge Roger Scott told Jackson, of Birkby, Huddersfield, yesterday: "You drove into four human beings. Three were killed. Three women's lives were taken away."

The court heard how Jackson continued driving a short distance after the impact before crashing into the wall of a church. He was found by police slumped in the driver's seat and was arrested.

A breath test found that he had 108 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Defence barrister Richard Vardon told the court: "There is absolutely no mitigation for these offences."

But he read out a letter which Jackson had written to Judge Scott which said: "If I could have a choice in this matter I should wish for the law to take my life instead of those three ladies."

Jackson was also disqualified from holding a driving licence for 10 years.

Outside court, Victoria's father, Peter Fisher, said the sentence was disgraceful. "It's not enough - I would have put him away for life," he said.

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