Alexander Walter already banned, over twice alcohol limit, doing 70mph in a 30mph zone when he killed John Morland and Kris Jarvis

A drink-driver who killed two cyclists while driving a stolen BMW has been sentenced to ten years and three months in jail.

Alexander Farrar Walter, 31, had over twice the blood alcohol limit and had used cocaine within the last 24 hours when he hit and killed John Morland, 30, and Kris Jarvis, 39, on February 13 this year.

Walter, of Purley on Thames, Berkshire, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, according to Helen Williams of the Evening Standard.

Walter took his partner’s black convertible without permission after an argument and lost control while doing 70mph in a 30mph zone. The two cyclists he hit were on a footpath and wearing helmets when he ploughed into them.

He also pleaded guilty to other offences including aggravated vehicle-taking, driving while disqualified, and driving while uninsured.

Judge John Reddihough told Walter that "two completely innocent young men and with families" were killed as a result of his "thoughtless, selfish and dangerous actions".

He said the evidence against Walter was "overwhelming" adding: "Seven children are left without a father and two women have been left without partners. Of course there is also the effect on the other members of their family."

The court heard that Walter had appeared in court 14 times over 67 offences including obtaining property by deception, dishonesty, false representation, and making a bomb hoax. In 2010 he was handed a four-year ban and should not have been driving again until December this year.

The victims worked for Reading Borough Council and were keen riders. Kris Jarvis had five children and was planning to wed fiancée Tracey Fidler next year. John Morland had two children and had set a date for his marriage to fiancée Hayley Lindsay in May 2016.

Prosecutor Alan Blake noted said the grieving relatives had made "devastating" victim statements.

He said: "It includes Amanda Morland (Mr Morland's sister) saying that part of her died with John on that day and they (the family) will never be the same again.

"There were similar expressions by the partner of Kris Jarvis (Tracey Fidler) who describes how difficult it is dealing with the loneliness she suffers, having never previously spent the night apart."

James House, defending, said Walter had written a letter to bereaved families.

Mr House said Walter "offers his heartfelt apologies" knowing that it would never make up for what he had done but he had admitted his guilt.

Walter was also banned for driving for 15 years and will have to pass an extended test.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.