Husband of Royal Wootton Bassett teacher killed by speeding drink driver tells of anguish (From This Is Wiltshire)
Grieving husband speaks of pride in his daughters
3:42pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 in News
The family and friends of Diane Wright look on as her Husband David Wright reads a statement to the press after today's court case
The husband of a woman killed by a speeding drink driver has told of how nothing in his 35-year police career had prepared him for coping with the aftermath of his wife's death.
David Wright said Paula Barnes had robbed him of the love of his life when she crashed head-on into his wife Diane's car in September 2010.
She was jailed for more than eight years after Swindon Crown Court heard how she was speeding at up to 100mph while two-and-a-half times the legal drink drive limit at Foxhill in Baydon, near Marlborough.
In an emotionally-charged three page victim impact statement presented to the judge at Swindon Crown, Mr Wright wrote of his loss.
"Diane was a fantastic wife, friend, mother and work colleague. There is not a day goes by without us all thinking of her and no words can express just how much we miss her, other than to say that our lives have been utterly devastated and that we miss her terribly," he wrote.
"Diane left for work and never came back. She was on her way home from work to be with her family.
"She never completed this journey owing to Paula Barnes being drunk and driving erratically on the wrong side of the road in a powerful car.
"She drove straight into my wife and killed her instantly. At the same time she killed the hopes and dreams of so many other people."
Mr Wright is an officer with the Met Police and was married for 23 years and together they had two daughters Tracey and Lucy.
"I have spent 35 years dealing with serious and at times tragic incidents. As a consequence I thought myself to be fairly robust," he wrote.
"However, I have had take a considerable amount of time off sick and go for counselling as a direct result of this matter.
"My confidence has been affected but I have had to remain strong for the sake of our daughters.
"Despite this, inside I have been falling apart, so much so that I have had to ask for help.
"We were a strong close family until the day Paula Barnes tore this family apart killing Diane.
"She then compounded matters by prolonging our agony and skipping bail to live abroad.
"This showed her absolute disdain for us, her failure to accept responsibility and her total lack of remorse.
"Our daughter Lucy was unfortunate to come across the incident and was told by police at the scene that her mum was dead.
"She will have to live with the sight of the mangled wreckage where her mother was killed for the rest of her life.
"I cannot imagine how it must have felt to have to look on helplessly as the emergency services did all they could.
"Standing there at side of road with no-one to turn and no shoulder to cry on. It must have been awful."
Mr Wright spoke of how his daughters how struggled with their studies following the death of their mother.
At the time Tracey was at Plymouth University studying illustration while Lucy was half-way through her A-levels.
Tracey has since graduated with first class honours while Lucy has now gone to the same university to study geography.
"The fact that they have both gone on to do so well in their lives is testimony to their characters," he wrote.
"I am so proud of them both and I know that Diane would be too."
Mr Wright continued: "From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed there is a gaping whole in my life.
"I often wake up in my sleep thinking that she is still alive only to turn over in the realisation that she is no longer with me. I miss her and love her dearly.
"Paula Barnes's actions has taken away much of my families future. I know that Diane really looking forward to seeing both Tracey and Lucy graduate from university.
"She often talked about them both getting married and settling down.
Sadly now my girls will not have the support of their mother at any future events.
"As for me, I do not know what the future holds. I intend to stay with the Metropolitan Police at least until Lucy has finished her degree.
"Diane and I were looking forward to both retiring and embarking on a cruise or a bit of travelling.
"None of our dreams or aspirations are now possible due to a stupid, drunken, inconsiderate woman.
"I don't think that she will ever learn the extent of what she has done and the affect she has had on so many people - many of whom are in court today.
"Paula Barnes killed a wonderful wife and a wonderful mother. I want her to know that, I want her to know that for the rest of her life."