Jailed drink-driver who killed island vet loses second bid to serve remainder of sentence in France
An ‘arrogant’ driver who killed an island vet after a drinking binge has lost a legal offer to serve out the rest of his sentence in France.
Thomas Wainwright, 29, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after being found guilty of killing Theresa Wade by driving a high-performance Maserati sports car into her vehicle.
Wainwright was found guilty in 2017 of causing the death of Miss Wade by dangerous driving on the A849 at Craignure, Isle of Mull on 28 October 2015.
Glasgow High Court heard he was traveling at speeds of up to 95mph just before the head-on collision.
At the time of impact, he was driving at 69 km/h. His speed was recorded on a device attached to the rented Maserati.
Court heard of eight-hour drinking session
The court heard Wainwright had spent eight hours in pubs around the island sipping whiskey and cider before getting behind the wheel.
Judge John Morris KC sentenced him to 12 years in prison, telling Wainwright he was “arrogant” and “ridiculously speeding” and showed “no remorse.”
It emerged after the case that Wainwright was a British citizen who had lived a significant part of his life in France.
In January 2018, Wainwright applied to the Scottish Government to be allowed to return to France for the remainder of his tenure.
A court in the city of Grasse on the French Riviera then granted the request. But it approved reducing the drunk driver’s sentence to 10 years, the maximum sentence in the country for Wainwright’s crimes.
This prompted Scottish ministers to oppose Wainwright’s move to France.
Ministers told Wainwright that this was because he was receiving a “significant reduction” in his term and would be released early if he continued his tenure in Scotland.
This prompted Wainwright’s attorneys to apply to the Court of Session for a judicial review of the decision, arguing that his human rights had been violated.
Lawyers argued he should have been transferred
Wainwright’s lawyers argued that ministers failed to follow proper procedures in making their decision and acted unlawfully by not transferring him to France.
However, in a judgment released by the Court of Session, Judge Lady Carmichael dismissed the submissions presented to her by Wainwright’s legal team.
Lady Carmichael wrote: “Ministers have rightly observed that a result of the adjusted sentence would be the potential for Mr Wainwright to come to liberty in the UK at some point before the sentence handed down by the Supreme Court expired. and entitled to take this into account.
“I am not satisfied that ministers acted unlawfully by failing to take into account relevant considerations relating to Mr Wainwright’s rehabilitation in France or the humanitarian considerations served by a transfer in general.
“They had the right to consider those factors which, in their opinion, outweighed the benefits for Mr. Wainwright of being rehabilitated in France.”
Ms Wade’s partner Charles Pease has said it was correct that Wainwright should serve his sentence in the country where he committed the crime.
He told the Daily Record the impact this has had on her family has been very harsh.
The 67-year-old said: “Wainwright has never apologized for his actions, his conduct in court was despicable, initially denying liability for causing her death despite police evidence to the contrary.
“He then tried to blame Theresa, who died as a result of his actions. There is no sign of remorse and the desire to return to France is all about him.
“The impact this has had on Theresa’s family has been very harsh. He clearly doesn’t care about his victim or their loved ones and what he did to those coming to terms with Theresa’s loss.
“To return to France and serve his sentence would be a waste of time. He should be serving his sentence here in Scotland, where he committed the crime, no matter how serious.
“Because no matter how difficult it is for him, it’s so much harder for Theresa’s family, her friends and everyone on the island who knew and loved her.”
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[Jailed drink-driver who killed island vet loses second bid to serve remainder of sentence in France]