Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Driver jailed for Lincolnshire double death crash

Mary Butres (l) and John Nicols
The couple had spent the day drinking at a racecourse

A woman who was over the drink-drive limit when she lost control of a Jaguar and killed a young couple has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Mary Butres, 48, reached speeds of 113mph (181km/h) before the crash.

Mark Compton, 20, and Jodie Brown, 19, were killed as they walked away from their broken down car on the A1 near Grantham, Lincolnshire, on 12 May 2007.

Butres and her passenger John Nichols, 58, were both convicted of causing death by dangerous driving.

Butres, of St Mary's Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, had admitted the charge.

Phoning for help

Nichols, of Manor Road, Carlby, Lincolnshire, had denied the charge but was found guilty because he had failed to tell her to slow down.

The court heard Nicols, who is Butres's partner, owned the car but had asked her to drive after drinking wine at a Nottingham racecourse.

The car's "black box" data recorder revealed Butres was travelling at up to 113 mph (181km/h) despite bad weather. The road was full of puddles after heavy rain and the car aquaplaned into the couple, the court was told.

Her blood-alcohol level showed she would have been almost one-and-a-half times the legal limit at the time of the crash.

Mark Crompton and Jodie Brown
Mark Crompton and Jodie Brown were phoning for help when they were hit

Judge John Milmo, told her the offence was aggravated by the fact that she had been drinking and was driving far too fast for the conditions.

Butres, a senior executive with packing firm BM Partnership Ltd of Ely, Cambridgeshire, had visited Nottingham racecourse with the company director Nichols where they had drunk around a bottle and a half of wine.

Nichols, gave his car keys to the twice divorced mother-of-two to drive them back because he had drunk "the majority" of the wine.

Council worker Mr Crompton and Miss Brown, both of Swinstead, Lincolnshire, were returning home from a gym when they broke down on the A1 at Great Ponton, near Grantham.

The court heard they were phoning for help when they were hit by the Jaguar with such force that they were thrown into the opposite carriageway.

Butres had originally denied causing death by dangerous driving, but was convicted in October 2008 . She later successfully appealed against the conviction, but changed her plea to guilty before a retrial last year.

Nichols, who was not in court, will be sentenced later.


Butres and Nichols were returning from a day at Nottingham racecourse

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