Wooden roadside memorial
Wooden roadside memorial

Dad of eight in drunken crash that killed partner

A MAN was four times over the legal alcohol limit and driving more than double the speed limit when he crashed into a power pole, causing the car to go up in flames and killing his partner in the passenger seat.

John Winston Noble, 48, had been drinking wine for nearly 24 hours with his de facto partner and a friend when he decided to drive to a friend's home in the early hours of December 26, 2017.

Noble was driving along Clump Point Rd on Palm Island when he lost control of his car while speeding along a bend, causing it to smash into a power pole and the engine to catch fire.

His partner who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was pronounced dead on scene by police, suffering fractures and third degree burns all over her body.

A friend sitting in the back seat also suffered fractures, including a serious one to his hip which if left untreated would have left the man unable to walk.

Noble also suffered several fractures, burns and had to be released from the wreckage by firefighters once the flames were extinguished.

Noble produced a blood alcohol concentration percentage of 0.20 when breath tested.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Walklate told Townsville District Court today, a forensic crash unit found Noble had been driving at speeds between 100-120km/h in a 50km/h zone.

Mr Walklate said the male passenger asked Noble to slow down but instead he continued to accelerate.

Noble pleaded guilty to charges, including one count of dangerously operating a vehicle causing death.

The court heard Noble had two previous convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Defence barrister Claire Grant said the jailing of the father of eight children, would have consequences for the kids.

"Any sentence imposed today is essentially secondary to the sentence which the defendant is already serving and that is the memory of being trapped in an inferno next to his partner who was dead," he said.

"Knowing that it was his foolish actions which caused her death and the grievous injuries of another … it is a sentence which he will carry for the rest of his life."

Judge Gregory Lynham said Noble had to "bear the physical and mental scars" of his "foolish" actions for the rest of his life.

Noble was sentenced to six years jail, with a parole release date set for February 1, 2022.

He was also disqualified from holding a driver's licence for two years.