Drink driver who caused fatal fireball crash has ban lifted two years early
A drink-driver who caused a motorway fireball crash in which a couple died has been allowed back behind the wheel two years ahead of schedule so he can get a job.
• Man was already serving driving ban when he caused accident
• Ten-year ban lifted early so he could get job
Thomas Roulston, 45, was originally jailed for three years and given a ten-year driving ban over the deaths of Elizabeth Barbour, 46, and Stuart Campbell, 30, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, in the accident on the M73 near Tannochside, Lanarkshire, in 2003.
Relatives of the victims campaigned against the “ridiculously low” prison term and hailed as “superb” a ruling by the appeal court to increase it to seven years.
The disqualification remained the same and was due to expire in 2014. Barbour, of Larkhall, Lanarkshire, asked to have his licence restored and Lord Bracadale granted the application at the High Court in Edinburgh.
The court was told that Roulston had been released from jail in 2008 and had been in no further trouble. He could have sought the return of his licence in 2009, after serving half the ban, and had applied now because he had the offer of a job as an electrician but was wanted to work night shifts and needed to drive.
Lord Bracadale ordered Roulston to resit his test.
Roulston was serving an 18-month ban for drink-driving when he caused the deaths of Mrs Barbour and Mr Campbell by driving carelessly and while unfit through alcohol. He had spent the night in a pub with workmates and consumed 12 pints of lager and a number of vodka shorts. He ran into the rear of Mrs Barbour’s car and she lost control. It mounted and slid along the top of a crash barrier, and the fuel tank ruptured and burst into flames.
After the accident, Roulston fell asleep in the back of a police car.
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