A REDDITCH man has been jailed for two-and-a-half years for ploughing head-on into another car and killing the driver.
John Shaw, of The Meadway in Headless Cross, was handed the sentence just after the court heard how the victim was set to get engaged that same weekend.
The 61-year-old was driving a high performance Jaguar from a promotional event at Worcester Warriors’ ground when he crashed into a Volkswagen Golf about 2.15pm on October 12, 2013.
David Smith, who was behind the wheel of the Volkswagen on Pershore Lane, was a 59-year-old rugby referee on his way to be an assessor at the Sixways complex for Worcester Wanderers. He died from his injuries.
On Friday (April 24) Worcester Crown Court heard how Shaw – who has a clean record – had lost control of the car earlier and managed to correct it.
But he then accelerated once again and began fishtailing as he came off the roundabout before ploughing straight into Smith at over 50mph.
Gareth Walters, prosecuting, said Mr Smith’s sister had suffered in all aspects of her life since his death, while his girlfriend of 12-years, was now extremely nervous while driving.
He was described as her ‘rock, soul mate and very best friend’ and ‘the most caring man in the world.”
The pair had also planned to get engaged on the same weekend he died.
Peter Fortune, defending, said Shaw could not remember all the details from the crash but could recall fishtailing just before he hit Mr Smith.
He added he had suffered a number of serious injuries and was awaiting a spinal fusion later this year.
“He does accept responsibility for offending,” he said.
But judge Richard Rundell said he showed little compassion during the trial and despite losing control of his vehicle previously he once again accelerated instead of stopping or slowing down.
He said Mr Smith was a ‘much loved and valued member’ of his family and the community.
“You have to live with the awful fact that his death was your fault.”
He added: “No sentence I impose can value his worth to his partner or family.”
Shaw was found guilty by a jury after admitting death by careless driving but denied his driving was dangerous.
He will serve half of the sentence in prison and half on licence.
He was also banned from driving for four years and told if he wants to drive again he will have to take an extended driving test.