A 35-year-old Highbridge man has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years after being convicted of dangerous driving.
Christopher Harris of Walrow in Highbridge admitted fatally injuring his partner on 20th January on the Burnham Road.
He was driving a vehicle which collided with pedestrian 34-year-old Laura Biss at about 2am. He left the scene and she died from her injuries.
Harris was found to be three times over the legal drink drive limit when he was arrested following the incident.
Laura Biss and Harris had been out together at Vinnie’s Bar in Burnham-on-Sea on Friday 19th January. Harris, the court heard, had started drinking at 5pm and was joined at 9pm by Laura.
At about 1.30am the following morning she left the bar to start walking the 2.5 miles home. Harris left 10 minutes later – he had been escorted out of the bar because of his drunken behaviour. He got into his van and drove off, apparently looking for Laura.
At 2am there were reports of a vehicle being driven erratically around Burnham-On-Sea.
Laura, pictured, was last seen on CCTV at an Esso garage in Burnham Road, shortly before she was hit by a vehicle – Harris’ van.
She was found lying in the road – but the vehicle had left the scene.
A white Vauxhall Combo van was later recovered in Highbridge, which had extensive damage. Forensic examination linked the car to Laura’s death.
Harris gave a blood sample 10 hours after the fatal collision, providing a reading of 268mg per 100ml of blood – more than three times the legal limit.
He admitted dangerous driving and has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.
After the sentencing, Detective Inspector Lorna Dallimore told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “This was a tragic loss of life – the death of a 34-year-old woman who was the victim of a drink driver, who also happened to be her partner.”
“Laura Biss died after suffering multiple injuries, following a fail to stop incident with a vehicle driven by Christopher Harris.”
“She had a vibrant personality, was sensitive, caring and compassionate and would go out of her way to help others. She had a great sense of humour and was also a talented artist with a great future ahead of her.”
“What this case clearly demonstrates is that drinking and driving can and does destroy lives.”
“We hope the decision taken today at court will bring an end to a traumatic and difficult time for Laura’s family and provide them with closure of this unhappy episode.”