Legal case to swap drink driver to French jail is dismissed

Mull vet Theresa Wade, left, with sisters Louise, centre, and Rosie.

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A legal bid by a drink driver to serve out the rest of his sentence in France after killing a Mull vet, has been withdrawn.

Vet Theresa Wade’s father Trevor Wade has welcomed news from the Court of Session in Edinburgh that Thomas Wainwright, only four years into a 12-year jail sentence, is to remain in a UK jail.

Miss Wade died after a head-on crash in which Wainwright’s hired Maserati ploughed into her Berlingo van at 68mph near Craignure on October 28, 2015.

In 2020 the Scottish Government refused a request by Wainwright, who worked as a first officer on a French yacht, to be transferred into the custody of the French authorities, but earlier this year he launched a petition for a judicial review against that decision.

Last week a motion to dismiss the case was received by the Court of Session and was granted so no substantive hearing went ahead, a judiciary official confirmed.

Wainwright, who had been drinking for eight-and-a-half hours on the day of the smash, was on the wrong side of the road but had tried to blame 29-year-old Miss Wade. Road traffic experts who examined the crash scene where Miss Wade died disproved his claim.

Mr Wade,  who has two other daughters, previously told The Oban Times that Wainwright was after ‘a cushier number’ wanting to go to France and should have the ‘decency’ to stay where he is and serve out the rest of his sentence in the country where he committed the crime.

Speaking this week Mr Wade, who used to run Bayview Stores at Bunessan and now lives in Oban, said: ‘Hopefully he will now stay put in a Scottish jail to serve out the rest of his sentence. Once that is done he can then decide if he wants to go to France. He will be able to make plans for his future and the rest of his life, Theresa cannot.’

During sentencing at the High Court in Glasgow in 2017, Judge John Morris QC had remarked on Wainwright’s lack of remorse and on his arrogance in giving evidence.

It was also revealed during Wainwright’s trial that he had a previous conviction for drinking while unfit through drink or drugs and had received a 700 Euro fine and suspended sentence by a court in Nice.

Wainwright, whose family are of Scottish origin, had been on Mull visiting a sick grandmother but had lived in France most of his life, the 2017 court case heard.

Wainwright was also banned from the roads for 15 years at his High Court sentencing.