09:29AM, Wednesday 28 June 2017
A serial driving offender who killed his friend after taking cocaine and crashing his car has been sentenced to five years and eight months in prison.
Tony Reed, 27, of Fifield Road, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday) after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving.
He also admitted to refusing to provide a blood sample for drugs testing.
On February 16, 2016, Reed and his 29-year-old friend Daniel Roche, from Finchampstead, were drinking at the Three Tuns pub in Staines before leaving at about 8.50pm for Reed's home.
Reed, then aged 25, crashed his father's blue Subaru Impreza into a tree at 48 miles per hour along Bishop's Lane, in Warfield, at about 9.10pm.
Ian Hope, prosecuting, said Reed called the emergency services and when members of the public rushed to the crash, he said 'no we're both fine', before adding 'my dad is coming to pull us out, he's got a tow-truck'.
Both men, neither of whom were wearing seatbelts before the crash, admitted to emergency services that they had been drinking and had each taken 'several lines of cocaine'.
Mr Roche had a cardiac arrest while on his way to the Royal Berkshire Hospital and died.
An inquest into his death will be held now criminal proceedings are over.
Reed took a roadside breathalyser test at about 10.30pm and was over the drink-drive limit, but insisted his friend was driving the car.
Defending, Paul Wakerley said Reed had drank ‘a couple of whisky and cokes’ that evening.
Reed has 12 previous convictions for offences including driving without due care and attention, driving without a seat belt, speeding and driving without insurance.
In hospital Reed refused to give a blood sample to Police.
Mr Roche’s widow Lauren Roche read a statement in court, describing her family’s pain and the difficulty of explaining the situation to their son, Sonny, who was three years old when his father died.
“We were broken that day and will forever remain broken,” she added before questioning if things would be different if an ambulance was called straight away.
Judge John Reddihough sentenced Reed to five years and eight months in prison and banned him from driving for seven years and 10 months.
Mr Reddihough said: "By your driving you have caused the loss of a husband, father to a young son, brother, son and uncle aged only 29 years in the prime of his life.”
Top Ten Articles