A “dangerous” driver has been jailed for four years and four months after a collision which killed a man and pony in Bursledon, Hampshire.

Oliver Wareham, 29, of Rownhams Road, Southampton, struck William Gaskin as he drove his pony and trap on Portsmouth Road, on 26 March.

Mr Gaskin, 33, from Guildford, suffered serious injuries. He was taken to Southampton General Hospital where he died a short time later.

His pony had to be put down due to the severity of his injuries.

Wareham initially stopped but left before police arrived, leaving his car at the scene. He called police the next day admitting he was the driver.

Winchester Crown Court heard investigations by Hampshire Constabulary’s serious collision investigation unit revealed the car had been travelling at a minimum of 57mph before the collision, on a road with a 40mph limit.

The prosecution also explained that while Wareham did flee the scene and did not contact police until the next day, further investigations by officers proved he had been drinking.

Using CCTV from the pub he attended and evidence from the till receipt system, officers were able to identify what he had been drinking that evening, putting him over the drink-drive limit.

Wareham pleaded guilty to causing the death of Mr Gaskin by driving without due care and attention while over the prescribed limit at Winchester Crown Court on 16 February.

He was sentenced to four years and four months and disqualified from driving for five years, with an extended retest.

“Sadly this was a totally avoidable death,” said Sergeant Rik Grant, from the serious collision investigation unit.

“Had it not been for the reckless decisions of Wareham, who not only got behind the wheel that night after drinking alcohol all evening, but also ignored the speed limit, Mr Gaskin would be alive today.

“Our investigations found that had he been driving at 40mph, at the point he started braking he would have stopped without hitting the pony and trap.

Continued below…

“Not only did his actions that night cause this fatal collision, he then left the scene in an attempt to cover up the fact that he was drink-driving.

“But despite his attempts, our thorough investigations have ensured that a dangerous driver has been taken off our roads.

“It is never worth the risk to drink-drive or speed and sadly as this case has proved, the consequences can be fatal.”

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday