A boy racer tragically killed his partner while showing off to fellow members of a car club.
Cameron Holdsworth, now aged 24, was traveling at almost twice the 30mph speed limit on an industrial estate. when he drove straight across a corner and into the path of an oncoming lorry.
Chronicle Live reports that his passenger and the love of his life Hannah Inman, 21, who screamed Holdsworth’s name as she saw what was approaching, suffered fatal injuries.
A court heard how footage recovered from mobile phones and vehicle dash cameras showed that Holdsworth had an inclination for dangerous driving as part of activities with the Total Chaos driving group, of which he and Hannah were both members.
A judge said that he was showing off to members of the group who had gathered in Blyth, Northumberland, when he caused Hannah’s death.
Holdsworth, 22 at the time and now 24, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and has now been jailed for seven years at Newcastle Crown Court.
In a victim impact statement, Hannah’s mum, Stephanie White, called for leniency for Holdsworth and said both he and her daughter “loved the car scene.”
Stephanie said: “Her love of the car scene did worry me but she was an adult and the car scene brought so much joy to her and was a big part of her life and also Cameron’s.”
She said “a part of me died” the night she lost her “beautiful, funny, kind, caring, bubbly girl” and that her life will never be the same and the “pain in my heart never stops and I would give anything just to hold her one more time”.
She added: “It would be easy to be angry and blame Cameron and at times I do because he was driving the car.
“At times I wish he had died because then we would not be where we are now with him facing prison. He has the biggest punishment of all, knowing she died.
“He heard her scream his name as the lorry approached and saw the trauma to her body.
“The prison sentence will come and go but that will stay with him forever.
“He didn’t deliberately go out to hurt her, it was a tragic accident doing something they both loved.
“I plead with you, as Hannah’s mum, to be as lenient as possible. I know that’s what Hannah would have wanted.”
Hannah’s dad, Thomas Inman, said in his statement: “I told her to be careful. I told her young girls get killed in young boy’s cars. ‘I will be fine’, she said.”
Sentencing Holdsworth, Judge Christopher Prince said footage of earlier driving by him demonstrated a propensity to show off and gain excitement from dangerous driving.
Members of Total Chaos would meet with modified cars and observers would line the streets perilously close to roads as cars took part in drag races on industrial estates.
There was also footage of him overtaking vehicles at speed while following a Porsche in Scotland and of him wheel spinning his modified Skoda Fabia.
On the night of the fatal crash, October 1 2019, Holdsworth had been seen driving “in a concerning manner” in a car park in Whitley Bay, when he was “racing around in circles” around parked cars, with one witness fearing he was going to skid and tip over the edge onto the beach below.
He then decided to drive eight miles to the Blyth industrial estate with the attempt to drive at speed.
The court heard Coniston Road has a left hand bend followed by a straight then another left hand corner before it becomes Ennerdale Road.
Having drifted into the wrong lane on the first bend, he risked driving straight across the second corner, onto Ennerdale Road, in an attempt to impress Total Chaos members who were waiting for him on Ennerdale Road. But a lorry was coming around the corner and he smashed into it.
He had been driving at 56mph on the straight before the collision.
Judge Prince said: “The defendant made a conscious decision he would drive straight across the bend. He intended to show off to fellow members of Total Chaos.
“He chose to risk his and Hannah’s lives to show off to his friends.”
Judge Prince said Holdworth’s actions were a “deliberate decision”, premeditated and a “flagrant disregard for the rules of the road”.
He told him: “You decided to drive in that way for one reason – that’s what you enjoyed doing.
“You enjoyed driving at speed. You enjoyed showing off to people.
“Your earlier behavior demonstrates you have a propensity to behave in that way.
“You placed your delight in driving dangerously and showing off above the clear risk of loss of life.”
As well as the prison sentence, he was banned from driving for five-and-a-half years.
The court heard Holdsworth, of Sycamore Road, Fishburn, County Durham, has no previous convictions and had a clean driving licence.
Steven Reed, defending, said the couple had been together four-and-a-half years and planned to have children.
He added: “This has had a devastating impact on him and will for the rest of his life.
“He described Hannah as the love of his life.
“He has genuine remorse.”
Mr Reed said Hannah was not wearing a seat belt but Judge Prince said he didn’t see the relevance of that.
Following the hearing, Hannah’s heartbroken family released a statement paying tribute to their “shining star” who will always be “missed and loved by many”.
The family said: “Hannah, our gorgeous girl. You left us without warning, not even a goodbye.
“We didn’t see this coming, it hit us by surprise and when you left a part of us died.
“You are our shining star, bright and beautiful. Your smile and infectious laugh would brighten anyone’s day.
“You will always be missed and loved by many. Every day for the rest of our lives, we will be loving and missing you – rest in peace, sleep tight my baby girl.”
Sergeant Dave Roberts said: “I sincerely hope this case acts as a reminder to everybody that our roads are not a racetrack and the laws are there for a reason – to protect all road users.”
Don’t miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond – Sign up to our daily newsletter here.