Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedfordshire driver who killed friend is jailed

A speeding driver from Bedfordshire who crashed his car into a tree killing one friend and seriously injuring another has been jailed for five years.

Christopher Jasper, 25, of Maple Way, Kensworth, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop after an accident.

Jasper had been drinking cider at a pub quiz before crashing his BMW in Lowther Road, Dunstable, on 27 December, 2009.

Front-seat passenger Paul Robinson, 26, of Dunstable, died from his injuries.

Another passenger suffered several fractures.

Breath test

Prosecutor Natalie Carter said Jasper was uncooperative with residents who came to help on hearing the crash.

He waited a few minutes then left the scene.

Ms Carter said as a result not only did he avoid a breath test, but police could not identify the victims for several hours.

Jasper, 25, who runs a small scaffolding company, gave himself in at Dunstable police station fifteen hours later. He said he had drunk two pints of Strongbow cider at The Glider pub.

Ms Carter said Jasper was driving at about 56mph when he failed to take a bend and crashed into a tree. Mrs Carter said there was no evidence that those in the car were wearing seat belts.

'Consumed with guilt'

The prosecutor said: "He accepts he had consumed alcohol and the Crown say that played some part in his judgement, both in the way he was driving and in the decision to flee the scene leaving his friends injured and dying."

Piers Reed, defending said: "This is a tragedy all round. He has killed a very close friend of his.

"He was driving far too quickly for the conditions and alcohol must have played a part, but he does not accept he was over the drink drive limit.

"He is consumed with guilt."

Jasper was jailed for five years and banned from driving for five years.

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