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Death driver is sent to jail

A HAMPTON-in-Arden man has been jailed, after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

A HAMPTON-in-Arden man has been jailed, after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

James Dunne, 40, of Shadowbrook Lane admitted drinking and taking cocaine, before crashing his car in Tyseley.

His girlfriend, Terri Bowater, who was sat in the passenger seat, suffered fatal injuries in the collision.

At Birmingham Crown Court, Dunne was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison.

The court heard Dunne, his girlfriend, her friend Kerry Aldridge and Dunne’s cousin John Dooley, had been out on May 14.

Shenaz Muzaffer, prosecuting, said Mr Dooley had been at the wheel to begin with - but Dunne encouraged him to go more quickly.

When his cousin refused, the men swapped places and Dunne started to drive at ever increasing speed.

His passengers urged him to slow down, but the defendant ignored them and insisted it would be all right.

But on Golden Hillock Road, the car reached a humped bridge - the vehicle careered to the left and hit a steel fence and concrete post.

It’s believed the car, a Mitsubishi Lancer, was doing between 61 and 75 mph, when the limit was just 30mph.

Miss Bowater was knocked unconscious in the crash and later pronounced dead at Heartlands Hospital.

Her friend, Miss Aldridge, suffered leg injuries and was confined to a wheelchair for several months.

When interviewed, Dunne admitted driving “like a rocket” and said he had taken drink and drugs that evening.

Nigel Stelling, defending, said Dunne would have to live with what he had done for the rest of his life.

Speaking after the case, Sergeant Tim Rogers said: “This is an appropriate sentence for a tragic collision, which will hopefully bring some closure for the family.”

Terri’s mum, Gill, described her daughter as a “bubbly, outgoing” girl. “She had everything to live for. We will miss her more than words can say,” she said.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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