A DRUNK driver who smashed into two cyclists in a horror accident, killing one and badly injuring the other, was today jailed for seven and a half years and banned from the roads for life.

Michael Filgate, 38, was at least two and half times the drink drive limit and admitted he had taken crack cocaine before losing control of a car on the Itchen Bridge in Southampton last August.

Filgate, who had six passengers in the Peugeot, was overtaking a taxi travelling towards the city centre. The vehicle crashed into the bridge wall and skidded across the road into the path of veteran cyclist Derek Witt and Peter Sneddon, members of the Woolston-based DHC racing team, who were going in the opposite direction.

Mr Witt, 60, the father of two grown up daughters, was killed instantaneously from multiple injuries, and Mr Sneddon, 33, suffered serious injuries to a shoulder, arm, his legs and pelvis.

Southampton Crown Court heard he spent six weeks in hospital and had to undergo physiotherapy and hydroptherapy. He is now walking with the aid of sticks.

Filgate, of Copenhagen Towers, Southampton, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and causing death when not having a driving licence and insurance.

Judge Peter Ralls QC described Filgate, who had never held a licence, as a public menace.

Matthew Jewell, defending, said Filgate was genuinely remorseful and never wanted to drive again.