A driver has been jailed for four years after a crash that killed a 75-year-old Ilkeston man and injured his wife.
James Storry, 31, was sentenced on Friday at Nottingham Crown Court after a jury found him guilty of death by dangerous driving at a trial in September.
Graham Moss, of Winchester Crescent, was killed when Storry’s Audi hit his Nissan Micra at around 70 -80mph on Nottingham Road, Trowell, in August 2011.
Storry, of Cossall Road, Trowell, was also disqualified from driving for four years and will have to take a re-test before getting behind the wheel again.
Before Judge Andrew Hamilton passed sentence, Richard Hearnden, prosecuting, read out a victim impact statement written by Graham’s wife of 18 years, Patricia, who was a passenger in the car at the time of the accident.
She described how the couple enjoyed spending time with their families and often took trips to the seaside together and twice a year visited Chapel St Leonards for a caravan holiday.
In it, she said: “Graham and I were married for 18 years, we fed off each other and relied on each other.
“Our companionship ended suddenly in August 2011.
“Even arriving home from the hospital after the crash I believed he would be there waiting for me, that’s when it hit me I would never see him again.
“I still suffer flashbacks and often wonder what life would be like if Graham survived.”
After the trial Storry wrote to Mrs Moss expressing remorse and regret and offering her his ‘heartfelt sympathies.’
She replied via her police family liason officer saying that she was grateful for the letter and believed the words to be genuine but it did not change that fact that she felt ‘bitter’ towards Storry.
In mitigation, Richard Kovalevsky, defending, told the court: “Mr Storry is devastated that he has taken a life. It will never, ever, ever leave him.
“This man is remorseful. He will never recover after the what happened on that fateful evening.”
Judge Andrew Hamilton told Storry he had taken into account references from friends, family and employees and the fact that his wife is seriously ill and undergoing chemotherapy.
He also acknowledged that a prison sentence could see the closure of his business resulting in job losses.
But he said: “The consequences of your actions rest only on your shoulders.
“This was an appalling piece of driving on a bit of road that you know.
“You got in your car and put your foot down, you must have done, you covered only 350m very quickly.
“You exceeded the speed limit which you knew was 40mph because you pass the sign several times a day.
“Prison will be a serious ordeal for you.”
Acting Det Insp, Ged Hazelwood, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Crash Investigation Unit, said: “This sentence reflects both the fact that someone died as a result of dangerous driving by Storry, and that Storry denied responsibility for the collision, choosing instead to blame other factors for causing the crash, principally the farmer who was wholly innocent and whose driving was totally exonerated by the witnesses. This attempt at shifting the blame to the farmer appalled the trial judge.
“The fact is that one person is dead, a widow has been left behind and a man of previous good character is now beginning a lengthy prison sentence because of his driving behaviour.
“It is a message we repeat time and again, and with good reason. We have a large car driving and heavily populated country that does not have roads built for speed. Driving at excessive speed is therefore a massive factor in causing crashes which result in nothing but death or serious injury and shattered lives for those left behind.
“No-one ever wins and it is so utterly needless. Hopefully, this case will sound alarm bells everywhere and act as a shot across the bows for anyone considering driving at excessive speed.”