An Isle of Wight man who killed a father-of-four in a fatal collision whilst high on drugs almost 20 years ago has once again been banned from getting behind the wheel after being caught drug driving.
41-year-old Gareth Edward Furmidge, now of York Road in Sandown, was just 22-years-old when he was involved in a crash at Wootton which killed David Mather. The incident happened on 28th March 2002 whilst Mr Mather was driving home from work.
Winchester Crown Court heard at the time how Furmidge had stolen a vehicle and consumed a cocktail of cannabis, ecstasy and a significant amount of alcohol before crashing into David Mather’s car on a mini roundabout. He received a 6-year prison sentence and a 10-year driving ban after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.
Shockingly, in July last year, Furmidge was once again caught behind the wheel having consumed drugs – cocaine and cannabis. Officers stopped Furmidge on Staplers Road on 8th July 2020 and he was arrested on suspicion of drug driving – around 1 mile from where the fatal collision occurred 18 years previously.
Blood examination discovered that the convicted dangerous driver, who is known to have in excess of 17 previous convictions for drink, drug and driving-related offences, had Benzoylecgonine [cocaine] in his system (84 ug/l, legal limit 50 ug/l), as well as cannabis (2.5 ug/l, legal limit 2 ug/l).
Now, Gareth Furmidge has been banned from getting behind the wheel for at least the 6th time – with 4 previous driving bans before 2002’s tragic incident and subsequent 10-year ban.
He appeared at the Isle of Wight Magistrates Court last Tuesday and was handed an 18-month driving disqualification and ordered to undertake 40 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £150 costs with a £95 surcharge.
Island Echo has approached the Crown Prosecution Service for a statement on the sentencing.
Sgt Simon Morgan of the Isle of Wight’s Joint Armed Response and Roads Policing Unit has said:
“Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both, is a major contributory factor that will increase the chances of you and others being seriously or fatally injured, in a road traffic collision. Even the smallest amount of alcohol or drugs in your system can impair your ability to drive.
“We regularly conduct enforcement on the Isle of Wight to target those who put others at risk on the roads, and we educate drivers around their behaviours to ensure they are being safe and responsible behind the wheel.
“We hope this case is a reminder to people that there are consequences to driving dangerously, and we will not tolerate it.”