A man who crashed a BMW while driving under the influence of drugs, causing the death of a passenger, before fleeing the scene and hiding in a loft, has today been jailed for six years

Police were called just after 11pm on Sunday 30 June 2019, after a silver BMW 320I left the road on Mountbatten Way, flipped and came to rest on a verge.
Witnesses told officers who attended that a person – later found to be Luke Andrew Bates, 34, of Mansergh Walk, Totton, was seen getting out of the vehicle. This person then fled the scene.
Southampton Crown Court heard mother-of-three Kim Bainbridge, 51, of Buckthorn Close, Totton, was a passenger in the vehicle and was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
The court was told in the hours following the collision, officers made a number of enquiries to track down the driver of the vehicle.
After being told Bates drove a silver BMW, they were able to locate him in the loft of an address in Totton. He was found with a number of mild injuries to his legs, arms and back and was arrested.
A blood sample taken after his arrest found Bates had no less than 5ug/l of THC in his system, exceeding the specified limit of 2ug/l.
Bates pleaded guilty to causing death by driving without due care and attention whilst over the specified drug limit, failing to stop at an accident and using a motor vehicle without insurance.
A judge today jailed him for six years and banned him from driving for seven years.
Speaking after the sentencing hearing, PC Jonathan Dove from our Serious Collision Investigation Team said: “This sentence should serve as a warning to anyone who considers getting behind the wheel while impaired.
“Not only are you putting yourself at risk, but others as well. In this case, three boys lost their mother and our thoughts are with them. We hope this provides them with some justice.
Sadly, there are still people who are choosing to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The consequences of this are devastating.
“The message is a simple one – it is not worth the risk. You endanger yourself, others in your vehicle, and other road users.”