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Last Updated: Friday, 9 May, 2003, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
Seven years for drink-drive killer
Carolyn Boylan
Carolyn Boylan died of multiple injuries

A drunken driver who ran over a woman before driving for a mile with her trapped under his car was jailed for seven years.

Paul Sparks had spent nine hours drinking in pubs with friends in Crewkerne, Somerset, on Boxing Day 2002, Taunton Crown Court heard.

The 26-year-old then went into a fast food outlet before getting into his Vauxhall Cavalier to drive to a friend's house in Chard.

But on West Street, Crewkerne, he ran over Carolyn Boylan who was lying in the road after being involved in a minor accident.

Sparks was oblivious to the incident and travelled a mile up West Street and on to the A30 before Miss Boylan fell on to the road.

He was so very drunk that he did not appreciate what would have been blindingly obvious
Ian Dixey

Miss Boylan, 28, of Eastleigh, Hampshire, died of multiple injuries early the next day at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

Sparks from Exeter, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

The court heard that mother-of-two Miss Boylan stepped out into West Street and collided with a car, leaving her face down in the road.

The driver went to get help and call police but then saw Sparks's car being driven at speed towards the woman.

At least five people shouted and "frantically waved" at Sparks to warn him but he said he thought they were drunk and carried on.

He drove over what he thought was a red bin bag or some Christmas wrapping paper in the road.

Sparks was arrested on New Year's Eve and police recovered his car.

Paul Sparks
Sparks pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving

It was accepted that Sparks was not aware of hitting Miss Boylan or dragging her beneath his car, because of his level of intoxication.

Prosecuting Ian Dixey said: "He was so very drunk that he did not appreciate what would have been blindingly obvious."

"Anybody sober would have realised there was a body jammed under their car."

Sparks, a father of one child, had been fined and disqualified from driving for 12 months in 1996 for drink-driving.

Defending, Alan Large said: "This was a tragic and dreadful offence."

Sentencing Sparks to seven years in prison and a 10-year driving ban, Recorder Martin Picton told him: "Your explanation for this can be only your state of intoxication.

"You were staggeringly drunk but you drove."

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