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Jail for banned and drunk driver who caused a woman’s death

Declan Jackson
Declan Jackson

A man has been jailed after admitting causing the death of Jossette Kemery and injuring another woman in a collision.

Declan Jake Jackson, 32, of Frome, was driving a black Peugeot 207 which was involved in a collision on the A371 near its junction with the A359, near Castle Cary, on Sunday 19 March.

Tragically his passenger, Jossette, 41, died at the scene of the collision, which also injured Jackson and caused serious injuries to a woman in her fifties who was driving the other vehicle.

At an earlier hearing Jackson admitted:

  • Causing death through careless driving whilst over the prescribed limit for alcohol
  • Causing serious injury through careless driving
  • Driving while disqualified
  • Driving without insurance.

At the sentencing hearing on Tuesday 23 January the court heard of the impact of Jossette’s death on her family.

Jossette Kemery smiling at the camera
Jossette Kemery

Her mother said Josette never got to meet three new grandchildren.

She said: “The day my daughter Jossette Kemery’s life was taken away was Mother’s Day … My whole life completely fell apart. Every day is a struggle to get through. My heart breaks knowing her children won’t ever see their mum again or be able to talk to her. They won’t have her to pick them up when they’re down or give them advice, or see them grow up or get married. … Every Mother’s Day will always be the saddest day of my life.”

Jossette’s eldest daughter said: “It completely broke my heart … I found out I was pregnant the day after mum’s funeral … I directed all my grief into focusing on the baby. I still haven’t grieved properly. I feel like my son was a gift from my mum.

“The loss of mum was too much … I still cry myself to sleep. I still try phoning her number … I feel so lost without her.”

Jossette’s brother said: “Jossette’s death has destroyed the whole family really. He’s taken Jossette away from her children … he’s ruined our lives. He’s taken my mum from me too, as this has absolutely destroyed her … He’ll never understand the heartache and pain he’s caused; he’s shattered us all.”

Jackson had been disqualified from driving just five days before the collision as a result of previous drink-driving incidents. He was found to have about two-and-a-half times the legal limit for alcohol in his bloodstream following the collision, as well as the active ingredient of cannabis.

An expert witness said this level of alcohol would have significantly impaired his ability to drive, and that this impairment would have been exacerbated by his use of cannabis.

In mitigation, the court heard Jackson had no memory of the incident and had himself received serious injuries, but had accepted responsibility and expressed remorse.

Sentencing, His Honour Judge Paul Cook said he took into account Jackson’s early guilty plea and ongoing problems with alcohol, adding that Jackson’s decision to drink and drive had “devastating” consequences resulting in a “catastrophic” collision.

After a discount for his early plea, Declan Jackson was handed a jail term of seven years and nine months for causing Jossette’s death. An eight-month prison sentence for causing serious injuries to the other driver and additional sentences for driving while disqualified and without insurance are to run concurrently. He was also given a 10 year driving ban.

Officer in the case DC Peter Williams said: “Declan Jackson knew full well the risk he posed by getting behind the wheel. He had only just been banned from driving after damaging his own car in a drink drive incident.

“His decisions on Mother’s Day last year had devastating consequences.

“Throughout the investigation, my thoughts have been with Jossette’s family, and in particular her mother and her children. For them, a special day on which we celebrate our mothers will never be the same again.

“My thoughts have also been with the driver of the vehicle that Declan’s collided with. She suffered serious and life-changing injuries because of Declan’s decision to drive while intoxicated through alcohol and cannabis.

“These injuries have greatly impacted the ambitions and life goals that she had, and she continues to receive ongoing medical treatment.”

Drink driving accounts for around five fatalities each week in the UK. All too often it is a passenger or another innocent road user that pays the price for this high-risk behaviour.
You can report drink/drug drivers through our online reporting form or by calling 101. Alternatively reports can be made anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. You can find useful information on their website.

If someone is currently driving under the influence of drink or drugs, always call 999.