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Drink driver who killed Dry Doddington man gets six years

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A drink driver who killed a Dry Doddington man has been jailed for six years.

Frank Martell, 21, suffered serious injuries during the collision at Staple Lane, Balderton, and was pronounced dead at the scene at 12am on Friday, April 14, 2017.

Nottingham Crown Court heard this week that 23-year-old Joseph Tame, of Walton Paddock, Harby, Melton Mowbray, was more than twice the drink -drive limit.

Tame had driven a VW Passat on the wrong side of the road as he came round a bend in Staple Lane, Balderton, before colliding with a Ford Focus being driven by Mr Martell.

Earlier,Tame had been to a pub in Plungar before the crash and initially told police in interview that he had only had a lager top, but later admitted he’d had four or five pints. His blood alcohol level was 207mg per 100ml blood, when the legal limit is 80mg.

Tame admitted causing death by dangerous driving at a previous hearing at Nottingham Crown Court. As well as the jail sentence he was banned from driving for eight years.

Detective Sergeant Adam Cooper, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Drink-driving is absolutely unacceptable in any circumstances and the consequences are horrific for all those left picking up the pieces.

“Sadly a young man has had his life cut short as a result of Tame’s completely reckless decision to get behind the wheel that evening and the family of Frank Martell have to live forever with the heartache and devastation he caused.

“Frank Martell’s death was completely avoidable. People have a responsibility to not drink and drive and have to expect to face the consequences like Tame is now doing. I would encourage family and friends to challenge strongly those that do take the risk, reporting those that still choose to drive to the police. There is never an excuse to put lives at risk.”

Family members spoke of how “drink driving ruins lives” both inside and out of court.

Hannah Goodrum, who lived with Frank and his mum Kathryn in Dry Doddington, told the court of the grief she had suffered and urged greater awareness of the issue.

Mr Martell went to a Grantham school and worked as a forklift truck engineer and took great pride in being given his own van by his employer.

His Facebook page reveals ‘likes’ for Notts County, Eastenders and the National Geographic tv channel. Photographs on the page also show a love of travel and mountain climbing.

Frank’s mum Kathryn Martell, a PA at Newark Hospital and former chairman of Westborough and Dry Doddington Parish Council, told the Journal that Frank was remembered by teachers as “a cheeky chappy and a bit of a class clown.” He loved the outdoors, he fished, rode his bike and went most weekends walking and camping with girlfriend Hannah.

Kathryn continued: “At 21 he felt he had the whole world to explore,”

She also said she worries what Frank felt as he took his last breath and recalls the injuries he suffered because of someone “deliberately getting into a car, having total disregard for other road users and the law.”

“People who drink drive are extremely selfish. If everybody reading this just thought about the possibility that they could kill someone if they drove after drinking alcohol the roads would be a much safer place.”

In his memory, around ten family and friends are climbing Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon to raise funds for Brake, the road safety charity. A JustGiving Page ‘Franks Three Peaks’ has been set up, which has raised more than £1,500 to date.

Family member Emily Martell posted on the site: “We are remembering Frank by fund-raising for Brake, the road safety charity because nobody should have to lose someone to a crash.”

“We are remembering him by doing something that he loved and raising awareness and funds for Brake the road safety charity. They helped us a lot over the past year..”

The Ben Nevis climb took place on April 28, Scafell Pike on May 20, with Snowdon set for August 4.

Emily added: “Please give generously and remember to drive safely. Not just for you, but for your friends and families and for the other people driving on the roads with you who are just trying to get home.”

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