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Grieving drink-driver caused death of cyclist

MICHAEL WRIGHT: he was killed
MICHAEL WRIGHT: he was killed

A TRAGIC woman whose driving killed a cyclist after she drank heavily has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Clare Nehammer was nearly three times the legal drink-drive limit when she crashed into Michael Wright on a dark country lane at night.

Maidstone Crown Court heard that she had been grieving over the death of her fiancee from a brain haemorrhage.

Nehammer denied causing death by careless driving while unfit through alcohol but was convicted.

The 36-year-old, of Cornford Lane, Tunbridge Wells, had been staying with a friend in Matfield following the death of her fiancee in February last year.

On July 6 last year, she said, she did not intend to drive and was drinking. But she decided to return home because she felt guilty after the friend’s daughter suggested he should spend more time seeing his new grandchild.

Nehammer, a former scientific publisher, accepted she was “way over the limit” when she set off on the short journey to Pembury in her BMW.

When she arrived home, she was overcome with emotion and decided to return to the friend’s house.

As she did so, retired civil servant Mr Wright, 65, was cycling home from the Hopbine pub. Nehammer’s car struck him in Cryals Road, Matfield, where he lived.

The unmarried victim, known as Radio Mike because of his radio ham hobby, was discovered fatally injured in long grass in a hedgerow by another driver.

Nehammer became hysterical when she heard that no pulse could be found.

A breath test later showed that she was 2.7 times over the legal alcohol limit. Judge Charles MacDonald, QC, said Nehammer would have been even further over the limit at the time of the accident.

She was also banned from driving for five years.

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