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Ex-cop who killed man in crash fails to get prison term reduced

By Alan Erwin

A former policewoman jailed for killing a father-of-two in a road crash has failed to have her nine year sentence reduced.

Judges at the Court of Appeal in Belfast yesterday rejected claims that the prison term handed down to Eilish MacSherry for causing the death of Paul Mills by dangerous and drunken driving was manifestly excessive.

MacSherry (41) had taken prescription drugs and was twice over the legal alcohol limit when the collision occurred on the outskirts of Omagh in October 2015.

Upholding her jail sentence, Lord Justice Gillen said: "This was an outrageous piece of bad driving which caused the death of an innocent, good man and devastated his family."

However, her 15 year driving ban was cut to 10 years.

At the time of the crash, MacSherry, from Brookmount Heights, Omagh, was wearing pyjamas, dressing gown and slippers, and had no recollection of what happened.

Other drivers were forced to swerve out of her way as she entered the Clanabogan Road at speeds in excess of 80mph on the wrong side of the carriageway. It was estimated her Saab car was travelling at nearly 60mph when it collided head-on with 49-year-old Mr Mills' stationary vehicle.

The court heard MacSherry had been suffering from the breakdown of her marriage, and was on sick leave before ultimately resigning from the PSNI.

She admitted causing death by dangerous driving, driving while unfit through drink or drugs, and failing to stop following a collision with another car just before the fatal crash. Her lawyers appealed after she received a sentence of nine years' imprisonment - half to be served behind bars and half on licence.

They argued it was based on a starting point which was too high, and claimed insufficient discount was given for her guilty pleas and remorse.

But Lord Justice Gillen, sitting with Lord Justice Weir and Mr Justice Colton, decided not to interfere with the jail term. "These are cases which demand a deterrent sentence," he said.

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