Drink-driver's jail term extended over Somerset crash death

Published
Image source, Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption,
Matthew Shaw was driving at twice the speed limit when he drove through a red light and smashed into Jenny Sell's car

A drink-driver who killed a woman after driving through a red light and colliding with her car head-on has been handed an extended jail term.

Matthew Shaw, 35, was sentenced in January to six years and eight months for causing the crash on 31 July 2019.

Jenny Sell, 20, died at the scene in Midsomer Norton. Shaw was driving at twice the 30mph (48.2kmh) speed limit.

Judges at the Court of Appeal ruled the initial sentence was too lenient and gave him an additional 16 months.

Data downloaded from Shaw's Audi showed he had driven from Wells to Midsomer Norton in just 12 minutes, hitting top speeds of 105mph (169kmh).

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Jenny Sell was due to turn 21 when she was killed

Shaw, of Walnut Grove, Shepton Mallet, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving while above the legal alcohol limit and failing to comply with a drugs test.

He also admitted taking a vehicle without consent which was later involved in a collision on the A371 on 4 November 2020.

For that offence he was given nine months in prison to run consecutively, giving a total sentence of seven years and five months.

He will now serve an additional 16 months in prison, a total of eight years nine months, after Miss Sell's family appealed the sentence and judges at the Court of Appeal quashed the original prison term.

Image source, Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption,
Shaw used his Audi car to get from Wells to Midsomer Norton in just 12 minutes

Shaw will be disqualified from driving for nine years upon his release as per his original sentence.

Following the appeal, collision investigation officer Dai Nicholas said: "We welcome the judges' decision today and hope it acts as a warning to other people who wrongly think it's acceptable to drink and drive."

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