Driver jailed for killing South Yorkshire couple

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A drink driver has been jailed for eight years for causing the deaths of a South Yorkshire couple.

William Wilson, aged 33, of Brigg in South Humberside, pleaded guilty at Northampton Crown Court to causing the deaths of Stephen Donnelly, 26 and his girlfriend Mandy Gold, 21, dangerous driving and drink driving.

The collision in June occurred the A14 in Northamptonshire, when Mr Donnelly, a student pastor, and Miss Gold, a church volunteer, were on their way back to their homes after a family wedding.

Wilson, who was twice over the drink drive limit, had been at a travellers’ fair in Cambridge.

Mr Donnelly joined the Antioch Community Church in Broomhall in 2007 and became part of its staff as a student pastor a year later.

Volunteer Mandy was a student life group leader at the church and also helped out with Sunday school and women’s bible groups.

Passing sentence Judge Richard Bray said: “This is a tragic case in which the lives of two young people have been lost. No penalty can compensate for these sad deaths.”

Alexandra Bull, prosecuting, said that before the collision Wilson was seen by a number of motorists slowing down and then accelerating, clipping kerbs and using the whole width of the road to negotiate bends.

Representing Wilson, Gwyn Lewis, said: “This is a tragic case for the families whose lives were changed in an instant. They suffered a tragic loss which they have dealt with in a very dignified manner.

“No sentence, no matter what type or length, can lessen the anguish of these families.”

Wilson was banned from driving for 10 years.