Killer Kettering driver given extra time in prison

He was caught drug-driving the year after the fatal crash

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 7:30 am
Ross Eaton and the scene of 2019's fatal crash. Credit: Northants Police/Northants Telegraph

A remorseless Kettering man has been given extra time in prison after he was caught drug-driving months after killing an elderly pedestrian.

Ross Eaton, who has never passed a driving test, fatally hit 75-year-old dementia patient Michael Reid as he crossed Northampton Road in the early hours of September 9, 2019.

Last month the 47-year-old was jailed for a total of 34 months at Northampton Crown Court and was blasted for driving another vehicle just 10 days after the crash, showing a 'complete lack of regard' for the devastation he caused. A judge also effectively banned him from driving for 10 years.

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And it can now be revealed that Eaton, formerly of Union Street, was arrested again nine months after that in 2020 for even more driving offences.

The killer driver, who is currently serving his sentence at HMP Peterborough, was caught behind the wheel of a Vauxhall Corsa in Rockingham Road on June 24, without insurance or a licence.

And when he was tested for drugs he gave readings which were well over the limit for cocaine and benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of cocaine.

Test results showed he had 65mcg of cocaine per litre of blood in his system. The legal limit is 10mcg. He also had 800mcg of benzoylecgonine per litre of blood, despite the legal limit of 50mcg.

Last week at Northampton Magistrates' Court Eaton appeared over videolink to admit two charges of drug-driving which he had initially denied, having already pleaded guilty to driving without a licence or insurance.

He also admitted possession of class A drugs after he was caught with seven wraps of crack cocaine in Kettering on October 30.

Magistrates sentenced him to a total of seven weeks in prison, which will be added to his 34-month sentence for causing death by careless driving.

He was also given a 24-month driving ban and told to pay a surcharge to fund victim services of £128.

After Eaton was jailed last month this newspaper revealed Mr Reid was left wandering the streets at the time of his death because of a series of catastrophic failures by Kettering General Hospital. Mr Reid had been taken to hospital but was not closely monitored, despite having dementia, and was able to walk out without being noticed hours before the crash. His family believe he was trying to walk back to his care home.

A previous court hearing had heard Eaton was driving his brother's black Saab 93 without permission when he hit Mr Reid, before leaving the scene and then returning. Mr Reid died from his injuries later that week.

Eaton later told police he couldn't understand why Mr Reid "did not get out of the way" and implied that his victim was "almost to blame".

After the crown court hearing Detective Constable Mark Griffin said: “Ross Eaton has shown a complete lack of regard for the devastation he has caused the family of Michael Reid who will have to live forever without him because of Eaton’s thoughtless and stupid actions.

“Throughout this entire case, Eaton has shown no remorse and it is incredible that only ten days after his driving stole the life of another human being, he was back out behind the wheel of a car driving illegally.

“I really hope Eaton takes the time in prison to reflect on his actions and begin to really understand the damage they have caused."