Drink driving charge over death of hotel boss Tom Bannister

Craven Herald: Drink driving charge over death of hotel boss Tom Bannister Drink driving charge over death of hotel boss Tom Bannister

A 42-year-old Gargrave woman has been charged with causing the death by careless driving of hotel boss Tom Bannister while over the prescribed limit of alcohol.

Debbie Andrea Barker, who was charged on Monday, also faces two further separate charges of failing to report an accident and of driving while over the prescribed limit.

The most serious charge – causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed limit – is indictable only, meaning it can only be dealt with at crown court and carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.

Barker, who has been on police bail following the accident in June is due to make her first appearance in court at Skipton Magistrates on Friday, January 3.

Mr Bannister was in a Range Rover Vogue when it came off the road at Carseylands Hill, between Airton and Bell Busk.

Despite the attendance of police and paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the scene – a short distance from his home at Bell Busk.

He was 48 years old and managing director of The Coniston Hotel, Coniston Cold, which is owned by his family.

Described as a true and loyal supporter of the countryside and of rural sports who had a passion for life, he was a keen follower of point to point racing and was a master of the Pendle Forest and Craven Hunt.

He was also a supporter of Sue Ryder Care Manorlands Hospice, for which he raised more than £150,000 in the last three years of his life.

His funeral at St Peter’s Church, Coniston Cold, was attended by more than 1,000 people and was led by the Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Rev Nick Baines.

Since his death, his family has launched the Coniston Cold Racing Club in his memory. The first horse to join the club was Banny’s Lad, named after Tom, and club jockey is his nephew, Harry Bannister.

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