Remorseless Kettering man was caught drug-driving TWICE just months after killing pedestrian

He's appeared in court again

By Sam Wildman
Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 7:45 am
Ross Eaton and the fatal crash scene. Credit: Northants Police/Northants Telegraph.
Ross Eaton and the fatal crash scene. Credit: Northants Police/Northants Telegraph.

A driver who had never passed a test when he killed a Kettering pedestrian was caught behind the wheel TWICE having taken drugs while he was awaiting a trial, it can be reported.

Ross Eaton fatally hit 75-year-old dementia patient Michael Reid as he crossed Northampton Road, near the double roundabout, in the early hours of September 9, 2019.

He was jailed for 34 months and banned from the roads for a decade in March this year as a judge blasted him for driving just 10 days after the crash.

In April we reported that the 47-year-old had been given extra time in prison after he admitted drug-driving in June 2020, despite being on bail and facing court for causing Mr Reid's death.

And it can now be revealed that Eaton, formerly of Union Street in Kettering, has appeared in court again after he was arrested for a separate charge of drug-driving in May 2020, again while awaiting a court hearing over his fatal actions.

Northamptonshire Police received a report from a member of the public at about 10.15pm on May 24, who stated that a silver Vauxhall Corsa was driving poorly in Union Street.

They deployed and arrested Eaton, who had no insurance or a licence.

A drug test found him to be over the limit for cocaine and benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of the class A drug.

The legal limit for cocaine is 10ug per litre of blood. Eaton gave a reading of 38ug. The legal limit for benzoylecgonine is 50ug per litre of blood. Eaton's reading was 800ug.

At Northampton Magistrates' Court Eaton, now of HMP The Mount, admitted drug-driving, driving without insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.

Magistrates handed him a total of 24 weeks in prison and banned him from driving for 52 months. He must also pay a surcharge to fund victim services of £128.

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.

The Northants Telegraph later 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.

The pensioner 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 in Broadway when he was hit by Eaton.

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."