In an extraordinary act of forgiveness, a mum hugged the drink driver who killed her son as he was jailed for his crime.
Mandie Brown hugged Michael York, 20, from Leicestershire as he was jailed for five years for driving while more than twice the legal drink drive limit. He crashed his car which killed her son, Matthew Brown, 23, and their friend Samuel Turner, 18, who were both passengers.
Before York was sentenced, Mandie told him: "Don't worry. Whatever happens, you can get through this."
Following his sentence for five years, Mandie commented, saying: "What happened was that four friends went out together and had a good time. Michael should not have driven and the other lads, including my son, should not have got into the car.
"I do not in any way condone drink-driving but I am not judging Michael and I do not want anyone else to or be angry at him. He apologised to my face after the accident. I know he and his family are hurting."
York crashed his car after a 12 hour drinking session where he drank 26 units of alcohol. He admitted to two counts of causing death by careless driving.
Another passenger, William Turner, Samuel's brother, survived the accident, which occurred on October 21st 2011.
Prosecuting, Andrew Vout said York started drinking with his friends at around 5.45pm, on October 21, 2011, where he drank between four and six pints of lager.
He then drove to a second pub where he had three or four more pints, before visiting two Leicester nightclubs where he drank sambuca shots and more beer.
CCTV footage showed York returning to his car in a near-by car park at 6.12am. The fatal crash happened shortly after he returned to his car. It is believed the driver steered to avoid a bollard before losing control of the vehicle, and ploughing into a tree.
Blood tests taken at the hospital revealed York would have had around 208mg of alcohol in 100ml of his blood at time - almost three times the legal limit of 80mg.
Kevin Lynch, mitigating, said York was genuinely remorseful. He also added that he had tried to kill himself since the accident, had a six-month-old daughter from a previous relationship, and his current girlfriend was four months pregnant.
Sentencing, Judge Simon Hammond, said: "This was an avoidable crash. These two young men need not have been killed. You should have never, ever have got behind the wheel of a car.
"It should have been obvious to anyone that with that much drink, you should not have gone anywhere near that car."
What a terrible story. How brave of Mandie to be able to forgive.
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