A “NOTORIOUSLY bad” driver who took the life of a mother-of-two has been jailed.

Euan Short, 21, was jailed for five years at Worcester Crown Court on Friday, October 30 after he had previously admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

The court heard that Short had killed 30-year-old Nicola Johnson, from Inkberrow, by crashing his Audi A3 into her Ford when he lost control of his car while speeding at over 85mph on the 60mph A422 between Flyford Flavell and Inkberrow, at around 9.20pm on August 2 last year

On the night in question, Short and his friend had been out drinking in a couple of pubs in Flyford Flavell, and it was said that he was known locally for showing off and revving his high performance Audi around the village.

In court, prosecutor Matthew Barnes read a statement from Miss Johnson’s partner, Jamie Mackie, which said his life had been “ripped apart” by her death.

Mr Mackie said he had become the sole parent of their children, and was unable to work as a result of having to take care of them, as well as the long-term mental health impact of Miss Johnson’s death.

Another statement was read in court by Miss Johnson’s father Colin, who described the family’s anguish at the loss of their beloved daughter.

In finishing his statement, Mr Johnson, who was audibly sobbing, said: “I will never understand and cannot accept how someone so young could drive a high performance car in such a dangerous manner.”

The harrowing details of the crash were read out in court, with the final speedometer reading in Short’s car at 89 miles per hour, with an expected speed at the time of the crash being somewhere between 85 and 89, according to a police expert.

The court heard how Short was coming round a bend in the road when he lost control of his car, smashing into Miss Johnson's Ford, which was on the correct side of the road and adhering to the speed limit.

Short’s car ended up in a nearby field, with his passenger freeing himself before Short was cut out of the car by firefighters.

At interview, Short said he had no recollection of the crash, and that he had only had two pints, though Mr Barnes said photos and videos recovered from his phone showed several occasions of him driving erratically and too fast, with one showing Short driving at around 120-130 miles per hour.

Mr Barnes said Short was a "notoriously bad" driver had been stopped by police in Worcester just two months earlier, being given a caution for his fast and erratic driving.

He had also been seen narrowly avoiding a crash earlier on in the day of the offence.

Miss Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. She had sustained a significant injury to her skull and another to her spine, and Mr Barnes added it was likely she died instantly upon impact.

Short and his passenger were both severely injured, with a number of broken bones and some internal bleeding seeing Short remain in intensive care for five days following the crash.

Representing Short, David Sapiecha called the crash “foolish” and “immature” and said he had showed remorse for his actions and recognised the effect of what he had done.

Sentencing Short, Judge Nicholas Cartwright said: “No sentence could replace the loss you have caused to them (Miss Johnson's family). You were deliberately driving at a speed which was above the speed limit.

“You had consumed a significant amount of alcohol beforehand and together, these factors place the offence at the very top of category two which corresponds to the bottom of category one. The aggravating features are that you injured your passenger and caused the death of Miss Johnson.

“The mitigation is that you yourself were injured, as was your passenger, and that you are still only 21 and with no previous convictions. You have after the event shown some remorse and there are character references which show you are a diligent worker.”

Judge Cartwright also banned him from driving for three years, as well as ordering him to take an extensive driving test when he is released.

Short, who is well known in Worcester, was brought into the dock wearing a white shirt with black tie and with his parents watching from the public gallery. He appeared unemotional throughout the hearing, and brought with him a bag of personal belongings in anticipation of his sentence.

Short, of Church Lane in Flyford Flavell, originally pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court in August this year.

Miss Johnson’s parents Colin and Lyn and brother Dan released a statement after the sentence.

They said: “Nick was the axis around which our Johnson family revolved here in Crowle where she grew up.

“We miss her and her girls bursting through the door every day so full of laughter and energy.

No one will ever replace her as a loving and caring daughter to us, sister to her brother Dan and a perfect mommy to her two little girls Eleanor and Alice.

We thought she was invincible and are lost without her, and while no justice could ever be seen to be enough,

“We as her family are pleased the police did an excellent job in their investigation in showing that Nick was entirely blameless and had no time to react in a catastrophic crash where mercifully she died instantly in the reckless act of a young man driving a high performance vehicle at speed.