A hit-and-run driver has been found guilty of causing the death by careless driving of a soldier. Jake Polmeer failed to stop following the accident which killed 20-year-old Ben Regan, who served with the Coldstream Guards, on 20 June last year.
Winchester Crown Court heard that Regan had come home to Reigate, Surrey, to visit his father on father's day and had gone out for the evening with friends.
The trial heard how the London-based soldier had just left Joules wine bar in Bell Street when he stepped into the road and was struck by the speeding Mini Cooper car being driven by 27-year-old Polmeer.
Robert Pawson, prosecuting, described how the impact knocked Regan "out of his shoes".
He said that experts estimated the car was being driven at least 36mph in the 30mph zone at the time of the accident at about 2am as the bar was emptying.
Pawson said after the crash, Polmeer, with his girlfriend Danielle Frost in the passenger seat, did not stop and drove to his home in Bushfield Drive, Redhill.
He said: "Ben Regan was knocked out of his shoes. What did he do after he sent Mr Regan skidding across the tarmac? He didn't stop, he didn't brake, he didn't even apply the brakes. He knew he was at fault and needed to get away.
"Ben Regan had walked several paces in the road to the point where he was standing on the broken white lines in the middle of the road. Not one of the witnesses heard screeching brakes or a horn."
He added: "We do not know what was going on inside the Mini Cooper, but something was going on in Mr Polmeer's mind such as he wasn't looking because had he been looking, he would have had time to brake and take proper avoiding action."
Pawson said that the car swerved following the impact and collided with the kerb before driving on.
The car, with a smashed windscreen and dented roof, was found the following day at the defendant's home after a neighbour informed police.
Polmeer later handed himself in.
The defendant, who had denied the charge, told police he had drunk one or two pints of Amstel lager and explaining why he drove away, he said: "I hit him, I freaked out, I did something stupid and drove off."
Polmeer will be sentenced on Monday (3 October).