Drunk driver jailed for killing two
Published 04/02/2011 | 18:32
A drunk driver has been jailed for at least eight years after he smashed into two Britons working in America.
Dominic Hartley and Emily Lewis, both 21, were killed in Warrensburg, New York, when a vehicle driven by Peter Goldblatt hit the group they were standing in.
The 40-year-old was behind the wheel of a Ford Escape SUV and had been drinking all evening when he struck the pair late on June 24 last year.
The parents and sister of Mr Hartley listened to the sentencing at Warren County Court in Lake George, New York, via the internet.
Judge John Hall Jr told Goldblatt he could serve up to 25 years in prison for the most serious charge he faced. Goldblatt would come up for parole after eight years and four months but as he killed two people, it is unlikely he would be freed. Parole hearings would be held every 18 months after that.
The court was told Goldblatt was "sorry" that it happened. His driving licence was revoked and, once freed from prison, he will only be able to drive a vehicle which has an "ignition interlock", where the engine starts only if a breath sample provided by the driver is free of alcohol.
A trial at the same court in December heard Goldblatt, who worked at his parents' golf course, had 110 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood following the crash. The legal limit in the US is 80 microgrammes.
The jury took about four hours deliberating before finding Goldblatt guilty of all the charges he faced. The charges included aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter in the first degree, manslaughter in the second degree of Emily Lewis, manslaughter in the second degree of Dominic Hartley, reckless driving and driving while intoxicated.
Warren County district attorney Kate Hogan, who prosecuted Goldblatt during the trial and was in court for the sentencing, said Goldblatt received the maximum sentence for all the nine charges he was convicted of.
Mr Hartley, from Bredon near Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, was pronounced dead at the scene. Ms Lewis, from Aberdeen, was taken to Glens Falls Hospital and then to Albany Medical Centre but later died.