https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/ ... ome-night/Darren Lee Woodward, pictured left, who has been jailed for 51 months for causing the death of postman, Matthew Carty, pictured right.
A BANNED motorist struck and killed a much-loved and popular postman who was lying on a road after a festive night out with colleagues.
Durham Crown Court heard that Darren Lee Woodward was travelling in excess of the 30-miles per hour speed limit on the A1052 approaching Fencehouses from Bournmoor, at Woodstone Village, near Chester-le-Street, shortly after 2am on Sunday December 23, 2018.
Although he braked shortly before the collision, the Audi struck Matthew Carty, who was thrust along the road.
The 36-year-old postal worker suffered multiple injuries and was confirmed dead in hospital later that morning.
Woodward, who should not have been at the wheel due to a ban imposed at Newcastle Crown Court in September, 2016, was driving his partner’s Audi A3 car at the time.
He drove off following the accident, but debris from the car was left at the scene.
It was found on a street near Woodward’s home, in Bournmoor, at 10.30am, but when police spoke to him he denied driving it at the time of the fatal collision.
Ian West, prosecuting, said he seemed to be under the influence at drugs and fell asleep in the police car.
Mr Carty, better known as ‘Matty’, had been in two minds about going out that night as he had worked long hours due to the busy postal period prior to Christmas.
But he decided to go and when his partner, Tracy McDonagh, who was working night shift, texted him at 1.30am, he was making his way on foot from the night out, in Chester-le-Street, to his home in Lambton Village, Washington.
She asked him to bring her a pizza home.
“But, he didn’t make it home. At 6.30am when she got home, she was met by a police officer who told her he was in a road traffic accident and had died.”
Mr West said two pizza shop workers, making their way home to Bournmoor from work in Fencehouses, saw a figure lying on the road and could see the headlights of a car approaching from the opposite direction, but were unable to alert the motorist.
A motoring expert estimated the car was travelling at 36-mph at the time of the collision and added that even a competent driver may not have seen Mr Carty.
Woodward, 41, of Lambourne Close, who previously denied charges relating to the accident, admitted causing death while a disqualified driver and being uninsured at Friday’s hearing.
John Wilkinson, mitigating, said: “Contrite as it may seem, Mr Woodward wishes it to be known he is deeply sorry for causing Mr Carty’s death in what I think we can all accept were unusual and tragic circumstances.”
But Judge James Adkin said he believed Woodward was more sorry for his own plight, which he said was vindicated by the fact that since the accident he has again been caught driving while disqualified.
He imposed a 51-month prison sentence and banned Woodward from driving for ten years after his release.