A drug-driver who killed a man in a crash – then ran away from the scene – has had his sentence increased by the Court of Appeal.
Christopher Fenton was more than three times the legal limit for cannabis when his Audi S4 crossed into the path of an oncoming Citroen Picasso on Fairlight Road, Fairlight, around 6.45pm on March 6th last year.
The Picasso was driven by Marcus Haynes, 65, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, who died from his injuries at the scene. His wife, aged 66, suffered serious injuries and their son, aged 24, from Stroud in Gloucestershire, sustained minor injuries.
Fenton, aged 40, self-employed, of Lower Waites Lane, Fairlight, ran away from the scene but was later returned by his mother, having changed his footwear.
He pleaded guilty to the offences of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving and appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Monday May 10th, where he was sentenced to a total of three years and eight months’ imprisonment.
But the sentence was appealed and this week the Court of Appeal increased it to five years and three months. His driving disqualification period was also extended to six years and seven months.
The court agreed the original sentence was unduly lenient for reasons including the seriousness of the injuries sustained by Mrs Haynes, which were not properly taken into account and that Fenton only returned to the scene because of his mother, and more weight should have been placed on this.
Detective Sergeant Rob Baldwin, from Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “It is unusual for us to refer a case to the Attorney General, but we strongly felt that the sentence in this case did not reflect the seriousness of the crime.
“The unduly lenient sentence scheme is only available for specific serious offences, and requests are considered by the Attorney General who will decide on whether to refer a case to the Court of Appeal.
“I hope that the increase in sentence will be of some comfort to the family of Marcus Haynes, and a deterrent to those who may consider driving while under the influence of drugs.”