Drink-driver filmed himself slurring 'I'm smashed' before killing woman

Sarah Baker smiling at the camera
Sarah Baker had spent the last four weeks of her life supporting her sister with her newborn baby

A drink-driver who filmed himself at the wheel saying he was "smashed" moments before a fatal crash has been jailed.

Anton Hull had been drinking rum and lager before he hit Sarah Baker, who was driving to Somerset for a weekend away.

Ms Baker, 29, had just finished her masters degree and put in an offer on her first home.

Hull, who was jailed for six years, was called "utterly selfish" by her family.

Hull, 21, hit Ms Baker's Volkswagen near Wincanton, Somerset, at about 23:00 BST on 18 August 2022.

People who called 999 at the crash scene said he "stank of booze".

'Immeasurable pain'

Pub staff told police they had refused to serve him at about 22:30 because of his "level of intoxication", and other people had told him to leave his Ford Transit van in the car park.

The family of Ms Baker, who was originally from Kent but lived in London, said: "The loss of Sarah has left a gaping hole in our hearts. Over a year has passed and every single day, we have struggled to know how to carry on without her.

"Sarah was 29 years old, she had just finished a masters degree and, in her last days, put in an offer to buy her first home.

"Sarah had spent the last four weeks of her life supporting her sister with her newborn baby and was simply driving to Somerset to have a weekend away.

"She was the most caring, loyal and generous daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend and most recently aunty anyone could hope to have in their lives.

"The immeasurable pain we feel is so unnecessary when Sarah's death was entirely preventable. The utterly selfish act of one individual has ended her life and ruined those lives around her."

'Needless tragedy'

A blood test showed Hull, of Long Street, Galhampton, was approximately one-and-a-half to two times over the legal drink-drive limit.

Avon and Somerset Police said he had refused to provide officers with the passcode for his mobile phone but experts were able to gain access and find videos he had filmed at the wheel.

"I don't know about you, but I'm smashed," he could be heard saying in one.

Hull admitted causing death by dangerous driving at a hearing in October.

He was jailed for six years and given a nine-year driving ban on Friday.

Judge Edward Burgess said: "Your dangerous driving killed Sarah Baker, having made a selfish decision to drive despite warnings, knowing full well you were too drunk to do so.

"Your driving was significantly impaired, and you used your phone to record yourself driving in an intoxicated state.

"Words cannot do justice to the enormity and needless tragedy of this incident."

Dai Nicholas, who led the police investigation, said Ms Baker's life had been "cruelly snatched away" and Hull had made a "catastrophic conscious decision to drive home".

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