A driver who killed a father-of-two after drinking more than twice the legal limit of alcohol has been jailed for four years and eight months.

Violeta Taraskevic was driving at up to 50mph on August 7 when she lost control of her BMW on a bend in Tonge Moor Road and ploughed head on into 42-year-old Ian Wilcox's Chevrolet Matiz, killing him.

Last month mental health support worker Taraskevic pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol and today she wept as she appeared at Bolton Crown Court for sentencing via a video link from prison.

Judge Timothy Stead told her: "The effects of this tragedy will never go away and will be with Mr Wilcox's family indefinitely.

"There can be no satisfactory outcome to these proceedings. It is the court's duty to do justice as best it can."

The court had previously heard how Taraskevic, of Brierwood, Tonge Moor, was behind the wheel of her husband's BMW 530, that she had only driven twice before.

After finishing work the previous night at around 10pm she went to a friend's house to collect him, but he was asleep and had been drinking.

Rather than waking him, 34-year-old Taraskevic decided to stay and socialise and drank two large bottles of cider.

The couple left the house shortly before 5am and drove towards their home, about two-and-a-half miles away.

But the roads were wet and, on a bend beside the Matalan store, Taraskevic's car ended up in the opposite carriageway. A witness estimated that she had been driving at between 40mph and 50mph in the 30mph limit.

Mr Wilcox, from Harwood, had been on his way to his work at logistics firm XPO and Taraskevic hit his car head-on.

The Bolton News: Ian and Cathryn Wilcox. 42-year-old Ian Wilcox from Bolton died in a car crash in Tonge Moor Road.

Ian and Cathryn Wilcox

Widow pays heartbreaking tribute to dad-of-two killed in crash

Taraskevic was not breathalysed until 7.50am and gave a reading of 68mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath when the legal limit is 35mg.

But the court heard that experts have calculated that, at the time of the crash, the reading would have been at least 78mg and could have been as high a 92mg.

Paul Shore, of GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit

During the sentencing hearing Sara Haque, defending, read out a letter to Mr Wilcox's family, who were in court, written by Taraskevic.

She wrote: "I would like to say sorry for my actions on August 7 2017. I think about it all the time and I will regret this for the rest of my life.

"I wish I could turn back the clock and undo all that happened.

"If I could, I would never have hurt anyone. I accept full responsibility for my actions. I am sincerely sorry."

Miss Haque told Judge Stead: "This is an offence born out of stupidity, out of selfishness and a massive error of judgement, but it was not born out of malice.

"The defendant had no intention of taking a life. The defendant will have to live with the guilt of what she has done for the rest of her days. That, no doubt, will be more difficult for her to deal with than any punishment."

The court heard that Taraskevic, who came to the UK from Lithuania in 2004, is likely to be deported at the end of her sentence and has already been visited by immigration officials.

Taraskevic met her husband of nine years, who works as an HGV driver, whilst they were both working in a bakery. At the time she was also studying for qualifications in heath, social care and beauty and, for the last three years has been working as a mental health worker.

Miss Haque added that Taraskevic and her husband had been trying to have children but, as a result of the time she will spend in prison, that is unlikely to happen.

"The defendant is keenly aware of the impact on her husband," she said, adding that Taraskevic had asked her family not to attend the sentencing hearing because she does not feel she deserves support and because of public hostility, which has included threats to her life and racist abuse.

The court heard that Taraskevic was of previous good character but Judge Stead stated that her offending has had 'appalling consequences'.

In addition to the jail sentence Taraskevic was banned from holding a driving licence for six years and five months, after which she will have to take an extended test.

Mr Wilcox's widow, Cathryn, had previously told the court how her 'world was shattered' when her husband died and she had not known how to break the news to their two young daughters.

The Bolton News:

The scene of the fatal crash in Tonge Moor Road 

Judge Stead addressed her and her family in the public gallery stating: "In a case of this nature words such as tragedy are almost inadequate. I wish to commend those who are in present in court for the dignity they have shown in these proceedings."

The Bolton News:

Flowers left in tribute to Ian Wilcox 

Speaking after the hearing PC Paul Shore from Greater Manchester Police's Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “That morning, Taraskevic was prepared to get behind the wheel while over the legal limit, not only putting her life in danger, but also the lives of other road users.

“Her careless actions have tragically changed Ian’s family’s lives forever and although no result from court is going to bring him back, she is behind bars living with her inexcusable decision.

“Driving with any level of alcohol in your system can and does have devastating consequences. The only safe amount to drink is none at all - none for the road.

“If you know someone who is prepared to drink drive, please call us as soon as you can so we can prevent other people from making reckless decisions that jeopardise the safety of the people of Greater Manchester.”