Driver told prison is ‘inevitable’ after causing death of Ronald Scannell on A120 at Great Bromley

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER - Credit: Archant

A 25-year-old drink driver who caused the death of a 72-year-old Essex man by dangerous driving has been warned that an immediate prison sentence is “inevitable” when he is sentenced in October.

Harrison Stokley was around twice the legal limit for drink driving and was driving on the wrong side of the road when his Skoda Octavia was involved in a collision with a Ford C-Max on the A120 at Great Bromley on August 7 last year at around 1.30am, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Stokley, of Goldhanger Road, Maldon, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Ronald Scannell, of Kirby Cross, by dangerous driving and causing serious injury to his wife Linda Scannell by dangerous driving on the same date.

Adjourning sentence until October 12 for a pre-sentence report, Judge David Goodin told Stokley: “The offences you have admitted are extremely serious and the nature of the sentence inevitably will be one of custody.

“The question that must exercise the court is how long that sentence must be.”

He said that Stokley’s early guilty pleas, his previous good character and his background were among the factors the court would take into consideration when deciding the length of the sentence.

Stokley was given unconditional bail and an interim driving ban.

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Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said Stokley was around twice the drink-drive limit and was on the wrong side of the road when the collision occurred.

Richard Potts, for Stokley, said his client had no previous convictions and had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Following his death, Mr Scannell’s family described him as a “very quiet, dedicated and generous family man who would do anything for anyone”.

“His nephews and nieces saw him as a hero and he will be lovingly remembered and desperately missed by his extended family and friends,” said the tribute.

The family said that Mr Scannell, known as “Ronnie”, was born in Stepney where he worked as an asphalt flat roofer for more than 30 years.

He moved to Dagenham with his wife Linda and two children before moving to Kirby Cross where he retired seven years ago.

He loved classic cars, spent many happy hours gardening and tending to his his koi fish pond.

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