Witnesham driver drank vodka and took ketamine before causing crash that killed friend in Coddenham, court told

Ben Fulcher, who was killed in a crash caused by drink-driver Josh Caines. Picture: FACEBOOK

Ben Fulcher, who was killed in a crash caused by drink-driver Josh Caines. Picture: FACEBOOK - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk drink driver jailed for causing a crash that killed his friend drank vodka and took ketamine before getting behind the wheel, a court heard.

Josh Caines, 23, has been jailed for three years following the collision in Coddenham which killed h

Josh Caines, 23, has been jailed for three years following the collision in Coddenham which killed his passenger, 21-year-old Ben Fulcher. - Credit: Archant

Josh Caines, of Kingshill Road in Swindon, was sentenced to three years in prison at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday after admitting drink driving.

The 23-year-old from Witnesham pleaded guilty to causing a fatal crash in Coddenham on October 15, 2016 which killed his front-seat passenger Ben Fulcher.

The pair had been out in Claydon the previous evening before driving to Mr Fulcher’s parents’ house in Needham Market.

Caines admitted drinking six pints and a couple of vodkas to police but said his last drink was around midnight, though Snapchats from the early hours of October 15 showed the group drinking from a bottle of rum.

Seargeant Scott Lee-Arnies of Suffolk Constabulary outside Ipswich Crown Court after the sentencing.

Seargeant Scott Lee-Arnies of Suffolk Constabulary outside Ipswich Crown Court after the sentencing. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Archant

The 23-year-old also took ketamine at around 11pm, the court heard.

Later that morning, between 4.30am and 8.30am, Caines and Mr Fulcher got into the defendant’s red Mini and drove towards his father’s house in Witnesham.

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Mr Fulcher was not wearing a seatbelt and when the pair approached a bend close to a bridge in Church Road, Coddenham, the car left the road and landed in a ditch.

Caines emerged from the Mini with a minor head injury but left Mr Fulcher inside.

Ben Fulcher Floral Tributes.

Ben Fulcher Floral Tributes. - Credit: Staff

He did not call the emergency services and left the scene on foot.

If Mr Fulcher had been moved, it is likely fatal consequences would have been averted, the prosecution said.

Blood samples taken from Caines later in the day were backdated to reflect what level it was at the time of the crash.

Results showed his blood alcohol level could have been anywhere between 97mg per 100ml of blood to 252mg per 100ml.

Judge Rupert Overbury said his sentencing was based on Caines having a blood alcohol level in the middle of the two, at 160mg per 100ml. The legal limit is 80mg.

Steven Dyble, for Caines, said his client showed remorse and stopped driving after the crash.

The judge, who also banned Caines from driving for three-and-a-half-years, said: “Nothing I can say will bring back the life of a much loved son, grandson and brother. “It goes without saying that each and every person that came into contact with Ben is suffering, has suffered and will continue to suffer.

“No sentence I pass today will match any time of loss or grieving.”

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