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Last Updated: Friday, 4 June, 2004, 17:18 GMT 18:18 UK
Killer driver's sentence slammed
Andrew Thompson
Thompson had been drinking in a pub before the crash
A man who admitted killing a great grandfather in a hit-and-run crash has been jailed for seven years at Liverpool Crown Court.

Andrew Thompson's car ploughed into 75-year-old James Barrett in Everton in February 2004 after being chased by a police car.

The 27-year-old, who has 46 previous driving convictions, admitted causing death by dangerous driving on Friday.

Mr Barrett's family said the sentence was not long enough.

His daughter, Elaine, said: "No matter how long he got it's not going to replace my dad is it?

James Barrett
Mr Barrett raised seven children as a single parent
"Everybody in the community was just devastated - he was that much loved by everybody.

"It's just not long enough. He will be on the streets driving mad after the seven years or five years - whatever he ends up doing."

The court was told Mr Barrett had raised seven children as a single parent and had 22 grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He was still in good health and was walking home from his local pub when he was killed.

Thompson, formerly of Stockbridge Village, had been at The Merton Pub in Bootle with his cousin, Carl Cooper, when he set off in his Ford Mondeo towards his mother's house in Liverpool.

'Crazy driving'

His cousin followed him home but two police officers spotted the Mondeo making a sharp turn and gave chase in their vehicle.

Taxi driver Paul Robinson told police he saw Thompson's car in his rear view mirror and noticed his headlights were not on and described his driving as "crazy".

He said he crossed onto the wrong side of the road to overtake him and was doing about 50mph in a 30mph zone.

Wendy Lloyd, prosecuting, said Thompson then ran a red light before speeding into Breckfield Road South.

He was looking in his rear view mirror when he hit Mr Barrett and then carried on driving until he crashed into a road sign in Kilshaw Street.

Flowers left near to where Mr Barrett was killed
Mr Barrett was killed on his way home from the pub
Mr Barrett suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene.

Thompson was sentenced to seven years for causing death by dangerous driving, four months to run concurrently for driving while disqualified and six months to run concurrently for perverting the course of justice.

He also admitted failing to stop and driving without insurance, for which he received no further penalties.

Sentencing Thompson, the Recorder for Liverpool Henry Globe QC said it was "almost as bad a series of previous convictions for bad driving" as he had ever seen.

He added that, had the offence taken place just four days later, he would have faced a tougher sentence under a new law that came in at the end of February.

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