Drink driver who said he was 'smashed' jailed for killing young woman near Wincanton

  • Watch the moment Hull recorded himself admitting that he was 'smashed'

A drink-driver who filmed himself behind the wheel admitting he was "smashed" minutes before killing a young woman has been jailed.

Anton Hull, from Somerset, had been drinking in a pub in South Cadbury before he got into his Ford Transit van and crashed into a Volkswagen car near Wincanton in August last year.

Sarah Baker, who was originally from Kent, had been travelling to Somerset for a weekend away when she was struck by Hill's vehicle, which was travelling in the opposite direction.

The 29-year-old died at the scene of the crash.

Her family say her death has left a "gaping hole" in their hearts.

They added: "Over a year has passed and every single day, we have struggled to know how to carry on without her.

“Sarah was 29 years old, she had just finished a master's degree and in her last days, put in an offer to buy her first home.

“Sarah had spent the last four weeks of her life supporting her sister with her newborn baby and was simply driving to Somerset to have a weekend away.

“She was the most caring, loyal and generous daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend and most recently aunty anyone could hope to have in their lives.

“The immeasurable pain we feel is so unnecessary when Sarah’s death was entirely preventable. The utterly selfish act of one individual has ended her life and ruined those lives around her.”

Hull had been refused service for being intoxicated

Police were called to the scene of the crash by multiple people, minutes after it happened. One of those callers alerted officers that Hull may have been drinking because his speech was slurred, while another said he "stank of booze".

Hull was taken to Yeovil District Hospital for treatment. A blood test showed he would have been approximately one-and-a-half or two times over the legal drink-drive limit at the time of the crash.

Detectives spoke to staff at the pub where Hull had been drinking that evening and heard he had drank several drinks, including rum and beer.

They also heard that he had been refused service at about 10.30pm because of being intoxicated and that he had been advised to leave his van in the car park.

Hull refused to give police the passcode to his phone, but analysis enabled the force access to multiple videos minutes before the crash.

In one recording of himself behind the wheel, Hull said he was "smashed" three times in a 20 seconds.

'Words cannot do justice to the enormity and needless tragedy of this incident'

Hull, of Long Street in Galhampton, pleaded guilty to one count of causing death by dangerous driving last month.

He was sentenced at North Somerset Courthouse, due to Taunton Crown Court being unavailable, on Friday 17 November.

The 21-year-old was sentenced to six years in prison and a nine-year driving disqualification.

He will also have to pass an extended re-test before being allowed to regain his licence.

His Honour Judge Edward Burgess, addressing Hull, said: “Your dangerous driving killed Sarah Baker, having made a selfish decision to drive despite warnings, knowing full well you were too drunk to do so. Your driving was significantly impaired, and you used your phone to record yourself driving in an intoxicated state.

“Words cannot do justice to the enormity and needless tragedy of this incident.

“You have no one to blame but yourself for your injuries.”

Following the sentencing, the police officer in the case, Dai Nicholas, said: “My heart goes out to the family of Sarah Baker. She was only 29 years old and had her whole life ahead of her before it was cruelly snatched away in this tragic incident.

“Anton Hull made a conscious decision to drive to the pub. He made a conscious decision to drink lager and rum. He then made a catastrophic conscious decision to drive home, when he was clearly unfit to. That he filmed himself on his own phone just increased the level of risk even more.

“We are grateful to all the witnesses who helped our investigation so we could piece together the full events of this tragic night and secure this conviction.

“According to the latest figures, approximately 250 people died in alcohol-related collisions in 2021 across the country – that’s about five deaths a week.

“Sarah’s family have experienced incredible pain and today’s sentence won’t end that. We desperately hope though that awareness of what happened to her stops someone in future from getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, because doing so can kill.”