UK hockey star jailed for six years

A British professional ice hockey star was jailed for six years for killing a great-grandfather in a drunk driving crash while sending text messages to his mistress on his cell phone, the Hull Daily Mail reported Monday.

Paul Simpson, former captain of the Humberside Seahawks, drove into Peter Scarah, 74, who was trying to fix his broken van on a highway near Hull, in northern England.

Simpson, who had a previous conviction for using his phone while driving, pleaded guilty to careless driving but was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving by a jury at Grimsby Crown Court and was sent to Hull Crown Court for sentencing.

Simpson had an illegal blood-alcohol limit when he viewed two websites on his cell phone while driving and sent intimate messages to a woman, who police confirmed was not his wife, moments before the crash in August 2009.

The 45-year-old deleted evidence of the messages from his phone, telling police he had "no recollection" of using it, but officials were able to recover the messages from his network provider.

"It’s quite clear the nature of your driving, which caused this accident, was because you were using a phone to read text messages you had received, reply to them or to be on the internet," Judge Jeremy Baker QC told Simpson.

Scarah had been traveling with his wife Margaret, 78, to celebrate his birthday in a nearby town when their vehicle broke down. The former refuse collector then told her stand away from the van for her safety while he tried to fix it.

"We had 42 years of married life, and [Simpson] wiped that away. I feel I have nothing to live for without Peter. This has been a difficult time, compounded by the fact he didn’t plead guilty," she said.

Scarah’s son, also called Peter, said that Simpson’s attempts to cover up his role in the crash were "callous and brutal" and that the athlete’s first call at the scene of the crash was to his workplace rather than emergency services.

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