Drink driver admits causing soldier death

Soldier Gordon Quigley
Soldier Gordon Quigley

A DRINK driver has been told that he will be sent to prison in the new year after pleading guilty to killing a soldier in a road smash.

Christopher James Howson appeared at Teesside Crown Court today and admitted responsibility for the crash which claimed the life of Lance Corporal Gordon Quigley.

The 24-year-old, who admitted causing death by dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol, was almost twice the legal limit at the time of the collision in his Ford Focus car in Wolviston Road, in Billingham, on April 15.

He had 69 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Twenty-six-year-old soldier Lance Cpl Quigley, who was based at Catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire, was killed as a result.

Howson’s barrister, Peter Makepeace, told the court: “Custody is inevitable. He needs to make preparations for that. I will ask for the Probation Service to speak to the defendant and prepare a pre-sentence report.”

The defendant, of Bosworth Way, Billingham, was granted bail until his next court appearance on January 4 when he will be sentenced.

After the crash, Lance Cpl Quigley’s family paid tribute to a man who “was loved by all who knew him”.

In a statement, his wife, parents and sister said he was a talented and keen sportsman and musician.

“Gordon was a loving father, husband and a very much loved son, brother, grandson and nephew,” they said.

Lance Cpl Quigley spent his life in the military, after a childhood in Germany with his military family.

He had a passion for motorbikes and guitars and had been due to return to serve in Afghanistan in September.