IMAGE SOURCE: SOUTH WALES POLICE

Nurse Jailed for Killing Grandfather in Christmas Eve Drink-Driving Incident

A tragic incident on Christmas Eve 2022 has led to a nurse from Merthyr Tydfil, Katrina Mahoney, being sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol. The incident involved the death of an 82-year-old great-grandfather, Ron Fealey, who was struck by Mahoney’s car as he crossed the street. Katrina Mahoney was found to have 73 micrograms of alcohol in 100 milliliters of breath, more than twice the legal limit

According to a report from The BBC on Tuesday, September 5, the court heard that on the fateful night, Mr. Fealey had visited the Winchester pub in Merthyr Tydfil after attending a Christmas Eve church service. He had consumed three pints in two hours before leaving the pub around 22:00 GMT. As he attempted to cross Avenue De Clichy at a pedestrian crossing, tragedy struck.

It was a dark and wet evening, and Mr. Fealey had not pressed the button on the crossing, causing the light to remain green for cars and red for pedestrians. Katrina Mahoney, driving at an astonishing 40mph, twice the road’s speed limit, struck Mr. Fealey and failed to stop at the scene. Instead, she returned home, leaving the injured man behind.

Mahoney returned to the scene approximately ten minutes later with her windscreen shattered, after dropping off her teenage son and picking up a colleague. She identified herself as a nurse to a police officer at the scene and claimed that Mr. Fealey had “wandered in front of her car” while the traffic lights were green. The officer, however, detected alcohol on her breath, to which she admitted consuming a cocktail containing Malibu and Baileys.

Further investigation revealed that Mahoney had a staggering 73 micrograms of alcohol in 100 milliliters of breath, more than twice the legal limit. Mr. Fealey was transferred to the University Hospital of Wales, where doctors assessed his traumatic head injuries as extremely unlikely to be survivable. Tragically, he passed away on Boxing Day.

During the court proceedings, James Fealey, Mr. Fealey’s grandson, spoke emotionally about his grandfather, describing him as a “father figure” in his life. James explained that the loss has left him feeling truly lost and that Christmas now fills him with dread due to the tragic incident.

Mr. Fealey’s son, Michael, who is also a retired nurse, expressed his disbelief that Mahoney, a qualified nurse herself, did not call 999 and simply left his father on the road. He referred to her actions as selfish and noted that her reckless act had shattered their Christmases.

Upon delivering the sentence, Judge Lucy Crowther admonished Mahoney for her actions, stating that if she had been driving at the speed limit, she could have stopped in time to prevent the accident. The judge also highlighted Mahoney’s failure to render aid to Mr. Fealey, instead leaving him unconscious and in danger.

In addition to her prison sentence, Katrina Mahoney was disqualified from driving for seven and a half years. This tragic incident serves as a somber reminder of the devastating consequences of drunk driving, especially during the holiday season when many families are celebrating together. Ron Fealey’s family must now grapple with the loss of their beloved patriarch, while Katrina Mahoney faces the consequences of her actions, serving as a stark warning to all about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol.

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