Drink-driver who topped 105mph before mowing down ‘beautiful’ woman, 20, jailed

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A drink-driver has been jailed after being caught on an app travelling at more than 100mph before killing a young woman in a head-on smash.

Matthew Shaw drove his Audi A5 at breakneck speed through a red light in a rural village before colliding with a car being driven by Jenny Sell, 20.

Jenny was pronounced died at the scene in Midsomer Norton, Somerset on July 31, 2019.

Shaw, of Shepton Mallet, Somerset, was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on Wednesday, to six years and eight months.

The 35-year-old was arrested after failing a roadside breath test and was later found to have 54mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath – more than one and half times the legal limit.

Data downloaded from his Audi also indicated it was also travelling at twice the 30mph limit when the collision happened.

And an app on Shaw’s passenger’s mobile phone recorded the journey taken prior to the collision which showed him travelling at a top speed of 105mph.

During sentencing, Judge William Hart said Shaw killed Jenny “by folly and thoughtlessness and blatant disregard to the rules of the road”.

And in a statement released after the hearing, Jenny’s parents, Colin Sell and Janice Gibbons, said: “To say that our lives have been devastated is a huge understatement.

“Jenny’s death has left a massive hole in so many people’s lives.

“She was taken from us by one individual’s selfish, reckless actions and by his actions he has given us, her parents, a lifetime sentence of grief.

“Jenny was a special girl who had everything to live for.

“She was a beautiful person inside and out and there is not a single minute of every day that she is not thought of by us, her family and friends.

“So little time to shine, but shine she did.”

The recovered app showed the defendant drove from Wells to Midsomer Norton where the collision happened in 12 minutes – travelling at a top speed of 105mph.

It took a police officer 22 minutes to recreate the same journey a different day and at the relevant and safe speeds.

Shaw pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving when above the legal alcohol limit and failing to comply with a drugs test.

He was also given nine months in prison to run consecutively for taking a vehicle without consent on November 4 last year, when he was involved in a collision with another vehicle on the A371.

Shaw, whose car can be seen crushed and heavily damaged, will also be disqualified from driving for nine years upon his release.

Collision investigation officer Dai Nicholas said after the hearing: “This was a tragic and completely avoidable incident in which a young woman sadly lost her life.

“I hope this case serves as a reminder to anyone who might think about getting behind the wheel of vehicle after drinking alcohol of the awful consequences their decision could have.

“Our thoughts continue to be with Jenny’s family at this difficult time.”