Cambridge drink-driver, who drove at 70mph on City Street, jailed for 12 years for causing death of foreign student
A driver who “catapulted” a pedestrian through a brick wall into a back garden – killing her instantly – when he hit her at high speed has been jailed for 12 years.
The defendant was driving a white Mazda 323 stolen from his mother while one-and-a-half times over the legal drink-drive limit, and without a licence or insurance, when he struck 19-year-old at around 7.30pm on 3 May 2013.
Cambridge Crown Court heard the defendant was spotted in the moments leading up to the crash driving erratically and at high speeds elsewhere in the city, including 40mph in Maid’s Causeway where the limit is 20mph and 70mph in King’s Hedges Road’s 30mph zone – seconds before hitting the foreign student.
The prosecution stated the defendant lost control of the vehicle at a junction, hit a kerb, and mounted the pavement where his South Korean victim, who had come to Cambridge to study languages in the hope of one day working for the United Nations, was walking to her accommodation.
The victim was thrown about 20 metres through a wall, demolishing it in the process. The defendant escaped with minor injuries and walked away from the scene. He was later arrested at home, claiming not to have known he hit anyone.
Judge Jonathan Haworth, who said the defendant posed a significant risk to the public after hearing of his numerous previous convictions, said:
“In all my years of dealing with cases like this, this is one of the worst, if not the worst, this court has ever had to deal with…There is nothing this court can do to ever replace the loss of this life but it is my duty to ensure you are sufficiently punished for the way you behaved that night.”
The defendant, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, no licence, no insurance and drink-driving, will serve two thirds of his sentence before he is considered for release.