Jonathan Gouldsmith taxi death: Llanelli driver jailed
A taxi driver has been jailed for three years for killing a young soldier on home leave from Afghanistan in a crash.
L/Cpl Jonathan Gouldsmith, 24, from Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, was hit by a taxi while walking on a night out in Llanelli in April 2011.
Steven Carey, 29, was driving late at night when he took his eye off the road while making a call on his mobile.
Carey, from Llanelli, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving by a jury at Swansea Crown Court.
L/Cpl Gouldsmith, of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, had previously completed six months in Afghanistan, including service in Helmand province.
The court heard how he was walking down the middle of the road on a night out in Llanelli when he was hit by the white Skoda taxi.
End Quote Judge Keith Thomas Swansea Crown Court
Human life cannot be measured in years or months of a sentence - no term can compensate for the loss to Jonathan's family”
Carey only braked after hitting Jonathan, throwing his up into the air and causing fatal injuries.
Judge Keith Thomas said: "The sole cause was that you were so distracted by the mobile telephone call you were making that you didn't see him until it was too late."
He added: "Human life cannot be measured in years or months of a sentence - no term can compensate for the loss to Jonathan's family."
The court heard that L/Cpl Gouldsmith had been drinking with a fellow squaddie on leave from Helmand Province in April this year.
But the judge said it was "unacceptable" that drink played a part in his tragic death.
Carey was jailed for three years and will be disqualified from driving for three years following his release.
L/Cpl Gouldsmith's twin brother and fellow soldier Christopher, who has served in Afghanistan and Iraq, said: "I'm devastated that Jonathan should have survived Afghanistan only to be killed at home.
"He was such a bubbly character and full of life and I cannot believe he is no longer with us.
"Wherever we were in the world we always kept in touch - we always had a very close bond.
"He was an outgoing personality and jokey person who made people laugh and smile and he was passionate about sport."
The dead soldier's commanding officer Lt Col Andrew Stuart said: "He was a rare character and a supremely fit and talented sportsman.
"He made a significant impact in the service and his loss will be felt keenly by his friends."