Family ‘sickened’ by Suffolk killer drink-driver’s appeal

Gail and Ian Brown Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Gail Brown died was travelling from Cambridgeshire to Haverhill when she died

The family of a woman killed by a “cavalier and reckless” drink-driver have said they feel “sickened” she is appealing against her sentence.

Gail Brown, 56, who was driving home to Haverhill, Suffolk for Christmas in 2017, was killed when Sarah Hand’s car smashed into her vehicle head-on.

Hand, 51, had lost control and veered across the carriageway of the A1307 before the crash.

She was jailed for four years and handed a driving ban in February 2018.

The crash happened near Linton, Cambridgeshire, on 22 December.

Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Sarah Hand admitted causing death by careless driving

Hand’s eight-year sentence included four years in jail and four years released on licence. She was also banned from driving for 10 years.

Hand, of Aragon Road, Haverhill, admitted causing death by careless driving, and told Cambridge Crown Court she never wanted to drive again, but this month was given permission to appeal.

Mrs Brown’s family said they felt let down by the justice system as the appeal was forcing them to relive the accident and its aftermath.

Her widower Ian Brown said: “It started it all again. We feel sickened and disgusted with her.

“She’ll be back with her family, whereas we’ll never be released from this. We’re serving her life sentence.”

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Gail Brown (bottom left) pictured with her family

A judge described Hand as “cavalier and reckless” at her sentencing, while the court heard she had initially lied to police about the amount of alcohol she had drunk.

She claimed to have only had the equivalent of two shots of vodka and gin, but was found to have more than twice the legal driving limit, having drunk that morning.

The court heard she was 10 times over the legal limit for measuring how much cocaine had broken down in her system and she was also over the driving limit for cannabis.

Hand’s case will be heard at the Court of Appeal in London at a date yet to be confirmed.



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