A car mechanic has been jailed for causing the death of his teenage female passenger and injuring four others. Just weeks before the accident occurred, Martin Li, from Hexham, Northumberland, posted videos of himself online speeding and driving erratically just weeks before the accident occurred.
Before the accident, Li had offered to pick up Lucy Daggan and her friends Alex Crowe and Lauren Jewitt in his new Ford Focus ST. In an attempt to impress his passengers, Li started to drive at speeds of up to 130mph on his way to nearby Corbridge.
Li obtained the turbocharged Focus by lying about his age to his insurance providers, Newcastle Crown Court heard. The court was also told how his female passengers had screamed for Li to slow down as he sped around corners.
Paul Rowland, prosecuting, said: “According to friends and witnesses he is a fast driver. He had in fact posted videos on YouTube, which does in fact demonstrate this.”
Rowland continued to say that “[Li] paid no attention to the road markings and he had personal knowledge of the road so he should have been aware of the dangers.”
The accident occurred when Li rapidly approached a sharp left hand bend but crossed to the other side of the road. He attempted to correct his mistake but skidded across the carriageway and collided into an oncoming vehicle.
His passenger Ms Duggan was left with fatal internal injuries, whilst the other two passengers in the other car were all seriously injured. Li, meanwhile, managed to escape “virtually unscathed”.
Mr Rowland added that “Mr Li and Alex Crowe both shared a joint of cannabis in his garage at about 4:30pm.”
It was at 7pm when they picked up Lauren and Lucy. Rowland said that “they had agreed to pay five pounds petrol money for Mr Li to take them through to Corbridge.”
Apparently, Li’s speeding and attitude behind the wheel had landed him into trouble with a neighbour, who accused him of rounding a corner too fast. Four weeks before the crash, Li turned to Facebook to express his anger at the neighbour, posting a status which read: “do 1 ya stupid old hag, guns go twice as fast tomorro!”
Li has been sentenced to eight years in jail. Judge John Evans said that “no sentence I can possibly impose today can begin to compensate them for the loss of their loved one who will occupy their thoughts indefinitely.”
He concluded that “you killed someone needlessly and selfishly and if it haunts you for the rest of your life no one will shed a tear or deem it fitting.”
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