Ipswich Crown Court has heard the case of a woman who, driving under the influence of drugs, killed the driver of another car, the passenger in her own, and seriously injured her passenger in the back.
The Suffolk woman was driving her Volkswagen at 60-70mph on the wrong side of the road on a bend when it collided with an oncoming Renault not long before midnight on May 27.
The driver of the Renault, estimated to be travelling at around 20mph, was killed in the collision, as was the man in the passenger seat of the Volkswagen. A woman in the rear of the VW was taken to hospital with serious injuries including multiple fractures and facial injuries.
Prosecuting, Michael Crimp said that while no-one witnessed the crash, a motorist who came across the aftermath told police the driver appeared to be under the influence of something
Tests performed later showed the 33-year-old woman to be more than 16 times the legal limit for cocaine. Police also found that not only did the woman not have a driving license, but had never taken a lesson or a driving test.
During interview, she told police she was speeding out of the town of Newmarket as she thought she had seen a police car.
Joanne Eley, defending, described the woman as “hugely remorseful” and taking full responsibility for her actions.
Appearing via video link from HMP Peterborough, the woman sobbed through the hearing, holding her hands over her face as details of the accident were read to the court.
She said in a letter addressed to the court: “No words will ever be able to describe how dreadfully sorry I am and the guilty I feel for the events of May 27.”
At the time of the accident, the woman had been recovering from an abusive relationship. “She was using drugs as a coping mechanism,” said Miss Eley.
“She had left the destructive relationship she had been in and was trying to put that behind her.”
The woman pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving, one count of causing serious injury by careless driving, having no insurance, no driving licence and driving while over the prescribed limit for a controlled substance.
Judge John Devaux said that her excess speed, drugs, and having no formal driving training or license all contributed to the seriousness of her offence. He sentenced her to eight years in prison and banned her from driving for nine years.
Sgt Scott Lee-Amies, from the Suffolk Police Serious Collision Investigation Team, said: “I hope that this sentence provides some closure to the victim’s families and sends out the strongest possible message from Suffolk Police that drink and drug driving and speeding ruins lives.”