Drink-driver who weaved across road before killing mum in one of 'worst hit-and-run cases ever seen' is jailed

Pierce Whelan, 35, ploughed into two pedestrians in Nuneaton, killing mum-of-one Nawelle Tina Ormerod, 37.

Pierce Whelan killed a woman in one of the
Pierce Whelan killed a woman in one of the "worst hit-and-run cases ever seen". (SWNS)

A drink-driver who killed a mum in one of “the worst hit-and-run cases ever seen” when he dragged her body along a road has been jailed for 21 years.

Pierce Whelan, 35, ploughed into two pedestrians in a Peugeot 406, killing mum-of-one Nawelle Tina Ormerod, 37, and dragging her body half a mile down the road as horrified people watched on in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

He had been smoking cannabis and was twice the drink-drive limit when he took his dad's car, despite having a taxi booked to take him home on 19 June 2021.

CCTV footage captured Whelan driving erratically and handing himself into police in the early hours of 20 June.

Whelan, of Nuneaton, was jailed for 21 years for manslaughter and three years for dangerous driving at Warwick Crown Court on Friday.

He admitted both charges and was also banned from the roads for life.

Whelan had continued to drive although the windscreen was smashed, before abandoning the car and visiting his girlfriend.

Tests later confirmed the concentration of alcohol in Whelan's breath was 82 micrograms compared to the legal limit of 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath, and a saliva test showed he had smoked cannabis.

Mrs Ormerod, who was married and has a son, died at the scene and a 26-year-old man was left with a broken arm which needed nine screws to fix it.

Emily Clewer of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “This is one of the worst hit and run cases I have come across.

"Pierce Whelan knowing fully well he had hit someone failed to stop at the scene and continued driving his car with no regards for Nawelle Tina Ormerod who was trapped beneath his car.

"He had been drinking and smoking Cannabis when he left a friend’s house.

"Despite the fact that a taxi had been called to take him, his girlfriend and her children home, he was captured on CCTV driving away from the address knowing he was unfit to drive, and that decision cost an innocent woman her life.”

Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington Spa, which incorporates the Magistrates Court and replaces Warwick Crown Court.   (Photo by David Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Pierce Whelan was jailed at Warwick Crown Court. (Getty)

Inspector Michael Huntley, from Warwickshire Police's Serious Collision Investigation Unit, added: “The horrific consequences of Pierce Whelan’s actions on 19 June 2021 have been devastating for the family and everyone who knew Nawelle Ormerod.

"Nawelle leaves a husband and son, who keenly feel their loss and my thoughts remain with them.

"Lives changed forever on that day, including the life of the man who was also hit by Whelan’s car.

"He received surgery to insert a metal plate and nine screws into the complex fracture on his right arm.

"These injuries have proven life changing, both physically and mentally.”