A DRUNK driver who killed a “vulnerable” cyclist was handed into police by his father after he left his victim for dead.

Samuel Woolley was kicked out of a Totton pub for being “drunk and disorderly” just half-an-hour before driving his Ford Focus car into the back of 32-year-old Richard Gardner.

And after fleeing from the scene on Brownhill Way and returning back to his family home in Bartley, Woolley, pictured inset, told his dad what had happened.

His father then returned to the scene tell officers it was his son who drove into Mr Gardner.

Mr Gardner sustained severe head injuries at the scene and when he was taken to hospital his mother Vanessa Gardner was forced to make the “hardest decision” a parent had to make and switched off his life-support.

Southampton Crown Court heard that Woolley, 27, had visited numerous pubs throughout Totton and Calmore prior to the incident, which took place just three days before Christmas.

Prosecutor David Reid told the court Woolley’s life had “gone off the rails” and he had been drinking heavily on the day, downing at least seven pints of lager and a Jägermeister shot before the crash.

He said: “When he went back to the Old Farm House, in Totton, Woolley threw a drink over his friend which led the management to ask him to leave. He was being drunk, disorderly and aggressive.

“Some regulars from the pub said staff were leaving so they didn’t have to deal with Woolley.

“He also tried to pull down Christmas lights while in the pub.”

After he left, Woolley crashed into Mr Gardner, who was on his way to a night shift at TNT in Nursling.

When Woolley struck Mr Gardner, who was not wearing a helmet but was in high visibility clothes with lights on his bike, he drove off, eventually returning back to his parents’ home in Bartley.

In a victim impact statement, Ms Gardner, a nurse, told the court her and her family’s lives had been “destroyed forever” and that she still texted him twice a week, but never got a reply.

She said “Seeing him in hospital, I felt cold and sick.

“I was just staring at him, knowing his life was gone and he was there with tubes in him like a machine.

“Why did he leave Rich to die? Why could he not stop or notice him?”

She added: “Three days before Christmas I remember seeing the anti-drink drive campaign on television. They seem more relevant than ever now.

“Everyone has a choice to start to drink. It’s a conscious decision.”

The court heard that when Woolley returned to his parents’ home, he admitted he had knocked something out on the road.

His dad went to the scene and told officers it was his son and handed over the keys to Woolley’s car.

Richard Onslow, mitigating, commended Woolley’s father and said his client was “deeply remorseful for what he had done.”

Mr Onslow said: “He will have to live, as will others in this awful case, with the consequences for the rest of his life.”

As Judge Christopher Parker QC sentenced Woolley to five years and four months behind bars, members of Mr Gardner’s family rushed out of the courtroom in tears. Woolley remained motionless.

Judge Parker added: “You caused catastrophic injuries from which Mr Gardner never recovered. There can be no suggestion that even if he was wearing a helmet he would have survived.

“This is entirely your fault.”

Woolley, of Rockram Close, Bartley, pleaded guilty to causing death by due care while over the prescribed limit and failing to stop after an accident.