A NURSE who killed a “loving husband, father and grandfather” in a road crash whilst “seriously drugged-up” has been jailed for more than five years.

Cerys Price, of Limestone Road East, Nantyglo, was convicted of causing the death by dangerous driving of Robert Dean, from Cwmcarn, four years ago.

The 65-year-old had been on his way to a family party to celebrate his granddaughter’s birthday.


South Wales Argus:

Robert Dean

During the course of her trial, prosecutor Timothy Evans told the jury the 28-year-old Price was “seriously drugged-up” on strong painkiller tramadol whilst at the wheel of an Isuzu pick-up.

The daughter of a driving instructor, she was also found guilty of causing serious injury to her then boyfriend, Jack Tinklin, by dangerous driving.

South Wales Argus:

Cerys Price

He was a front seat passenger in her vehicle during the head-on collision with Mr Dean’s Vauxhall Astra on the A467 between Rogerstone and the Bassaleg roundabout in Newport on July 15, 2016.

The father-of-three daughters had been looking forward to his retirement after working as a bus driver and lorry driver for nearly 50 years.

Intensive care nurse Price had denied the charges and refuted prosecution claims she was hooked on tramadol during the trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

She claimed she had suffered an epileptic seizure which caused the fatal crash.

After the verdict, Mr Dean’s family issued a statement which read: “The way in which a loving husband, father and grandfather was taken from us was so unfair and the impact upon the family has been devastating.”

In a victim impact statement, read to the court by Mr Evans on behalf of his widow, Anne Dean, she said: “For me, my life changed on July 15, 2016 when Robert was killed. A few days later would have been our 46th wedding anniversary.

“This was a gut-wrenching event and this has not stopped since.

“Next came our first Christmas without Robert, then Easter, then holidays, then through to our daughter’s wedding.

“This will continue for the rest of our lives and is a sentence that we will have to live with.

“It’s not fair that Robert was taken away so tragically and it has changed our family forever.”

John Dye, representing Price, said: “This clearly is a tragedy in the true sense of the word and nothing I can say in mitigation can detract from that.

“Any impact on the defendant and her family is incomparable with the impact on Mr Dean’s family.

“She was a law-abiding and hard-working woman who made an extremely poor choice that day.

"The defendant was an intensive care nurse and she will not be going back to that job.

"It was a job that was extremely important to her. It is a bitter irony that someone who was was caring for people and preventing loss of life should find themselves sat in court."

Price was jailed for five years and four months by Judge Michael Fitton QC and Cardiff Crown Court and banned from driving for the same period.

He told her: “Mr Dean’s death was in an instant. You blacked out and this was a seizure induced by tramadol.

“You lied to the jury about your consumption of tramadol tablets.”

Price was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge upon her release from custody.

Outside the court, Sergeant Bob Witherall, from Gwent Police’s forensic collision investigation unit, said: “We welcome the sentence handed down by the court, which illustrates the severity of Cerys Price’s actions, today.

“We pay tribute to Robert Dean’s family for their patience, support and understanding throughout the investigation at what must have been an immensely difficult time for them.

“They have shown an incredible amount of bravery and dignity while sitting through the trial of their loved one’s death and our thoughts and condolences remain with them.

“It was Cerys Price’s decision to get behind the wheel and drive, even after taking a strong and unprescribed medical painkiller.

“Her flagrant disregard for other road users, both inside and outside of the vehicle she was in control of, has resulted in tragedy.

“May this be a warning to other motorists as to the potentially disastrous consequences and dangers of misusing unprescribed medication and driving.

“This has been a long and complex investigation and we are grateful to all the witnesses and various medical and forensic experts who provide valuable assistance.”