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Court told of screams and sobs of children whose dad was killed by drink-driving ex PSNI officer

By Gerry McLaughlin

An off-duty police officer who killed a father-of-two in a crash has been jailed for nine years at Dungannon Crown Court.

Eilish MacSherry (41) of Brookmount Heights, Omagh, admitted causing the death of Paul Mills by dangerous and drunk driving in October in 2015.

She was found to be twice over the legal alcohol limit.

Paul Mills’ widow Ann, children and other family members were in court for the sentencing of the former police officer.

The 49-year-old was killed in the crash on the outskirts of Omagh on October 10 last year.

MacSherry was off-duty at the time of the incident. The judge found she was drunk that day, having taken a high level of alcohol and prescription drugs.

She was less than two miles from her home when the fatal collision occurred.

The judge said it was a “persistent course of bad driving with grossly excessive speed by a woman who should not have been behind the wheel of a car given the level of alcohol and drugs in her blood”.

The 41-year-old collided with one car, drove on at high speed, and then crashed into Mr Mills’ car.

The judge added that all witnesses described that impact as like an “explosion”.

The ex-police officer refused an initial breath test to police at the scene.

Her defence team told the court she had no recollection of what happened that day, but did offer the most sincere apology she can for what happened.

The judge repeated the words of Mrs Mills, who said that telling her two children that their father had died was the hardest thing she had to do.

She said she would never forget the screams of one, and quiet sobs of another.

Mrs Mills said their idyllic childhood had been brought to an abrupt end by someone who should not have been driving that night.

The judge said he took into account the number of years the defendant had spent as a public servant.

“But as a serving police officer you should have known the consequence of this sort of irresponsible behaviour,” he added.

The defendant was sentenced to nine years, with half of this to be served on licence.

She was also banned from driving for 15 years.

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