A DRINK-DRIVER who slammed into and killed a trainee physiotherapist was jailed for five years on Monday (March 15).
Chuy Taylor, of Penn Place, Rickmansworth, was more than twice the alcohol limit and speeding when he hit 22-year-old Matthew Purdham in the early hours of April 10 last year, while driving his company Audi in Uxbridge Road, Rickmansworth.
Mr Purdham died instantly from massive and multiple injuries, St Albans Crown Court heard. Ann Evans, prosecuting, said the victim was standing on a 30mph sign, painted on the road, when the tragedy happened.
Mr Purdham had spent the night in St Albans before leaving in a taxi with two friends.
The friends left the cab in Rickmansworth and made sure that Mr Purdham, who was described as 'really drunk', had enough money to get back to his home in South Oxhey, near Watford.
But Mr Purdham decided to go to a BP garage to buy cigarettes. He asked for directions home, but was seen walking the wrong way.
The court heard Taylor, 32, was travelling at between 41 and 47mph when he struck Mr Purdham. He claimed the victim had jumped out from the side of the road.
Mrs Evans said that at 30mph, Mr Purdham would have had a two in 10 chance of being killed. At 40mph, it was nine out of 10.
In an extract from the family's statement, read to the court, Mr Purdham's father, Richard, described his son as "a gentle giant who would not hurt a soul."
Taylor, an IT company account manager, admitted causing death by careless driving while over the drink drive limit, after previously denying the allegations.
He received eight penalty points on his licence in April 2006 for having no insurance and three points in November 2007 for speeding.
Raymond Lewis, defending, said: "He is going to live with this every day. His recklessness is unforgivable."
Judge Andrew Bright QC also banned Taylor from driving for three years and told him he must sit a driving re-test before regaining a licence.
The judge said: "For Matthew's family and friends, their loss is tragic.
"He had his whole life ahead of him. You will forever have to live with the fact of the pain his death has caused."
"If you had been sober and driving within the speed limit, he might have survived."
Speaking outside the court, Mr Purdham's father said: "I just hope people stop and think about what they do when they are driving whether it is drinking, speeding or using a mobile phone."
"Matthew's death has caused so much pain."