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Drunk driver jailed for killing mum

PUBLISHED: 09:37 17 December 2009 | UPDATED: 17:25 25 August 2010

MOTHER: Claire with her son.

MOTHER: Claire with her son.

A DRUNK driver who killed a young mum while showing off his Mercedes convertible has been jailed for six years, writes Marina Soteriou.

A DRUNK driver who killed a young mum while showing off his Mercedes convertible has been jailed for six years, writes Marina Soteriou.

Simon Bigg, 46, of Highbanks Close, Welling, admitted causing death by dangerous driving after hitting nursery school nurse Claire Lane, 30, (pictured above) of Elmfield Court, Wickham Street, whilst driving his £50,000 car "like a nutter" the Old Bailey heard.

He had downed three pints of beer in the Fanny-on-the-Hill pub in Welling, when he invited his friend Richard Booth to "jump in for a spin" in his Mercedes SL55 AMG, on the sunny Sunday afternoon of May 3 this year, at about 5.30pm.

The roofer and former wrestler, reached up to 60mph in a 30mph before flying through the air on a speed hump and mounting the pavement.

Ms Lane, who had a two year-old child, died almost instantly of multiple injuries.

Prosecuting Jonathan Foy, told the Blackfriars Crown Court last Friday : "The defendant then reversed out of the car park of the public house.

"He was warned by a passer-by he was perilously close to a post. He replied: 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.'

"Witnesses variously described the speed, acceleration and noise of his vehicle. It was evident his driving was excessive in the extreme.

"Mr Booth described him driving 'like a nutter'. He further described him going 'proper fast, like flooring it'.

"The defendant evidently lost control as he encountered a speed hump. Witnesses described the vehicle launching into the air.

"There is no evidence of braking or deceleration."

Bigg, whose head remained bowed throughout the hearing, wrote a letter to the family which was read to the court.

It read: "If I could trade places with Claire Lane I would this minute. But I can't turn back the clock.

"No sentence will compensate for your great loss. Today I have to start a sentence I so deserve."

The court heard his brother died of cancer three weeks before the accident and he fled to his sister-in-law's in panic, to warn her he would be going to jail.

Judge Aiden Marron QC said: "This case is nothing short of a tragedy.

"You ended the life of a delightful young woman, a much-needed mother.

"You accelerated in a dreadfully dangerous fashion producing an inevitable accident and in a shameful fashion you quit the scene indifferent to the predicament she was in.

"I accept you are a decent man who is genuinely remorseful. But I'm afraid you took a life and a heavy sentence must follow."

The judge also banned him from driving for six years and said he would have to take an extended test before he is allowed on the roads again.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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