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Jail For Teenager Whose Dangerous Driving Killed Mum-Of-Three

14/08/2014 16:55 | Updated 22 May 2015

Ambulance speeding

A teenager has been jailed for 10 months after killing a woman with his careless driving.

Andrew Riozzie was 17 when he took his parent's car as they slept on July 21 last year, despite having failed his driving test for the third time just days earlier.

Mum-of-three Julia Smith was hit by the silver Ford S-Max in Southport and dragged for 60m underneath it before it came to a stop.

Riozzie and his two passengers flagged down an ambulance coming out of a nearby hospital, but Ms Smith suffered fatal injuries and died a short time later.

Riozzie, who is now 19, admitted causing her death by dangerous driving when he appeared at Liverpool crown court yesterday (Thursday).

The court was told that Ms Smith - who had three young sons - had been seen by a taxi driver just minutes before the crash slumped in a bus shelter after a heavy drinking session. She was described in court as being 'a kind, loving, compassionate mother whose family would have expected her to have lived a long and fulfilling life'.

Riozzie told officers after the crash that he had been driving at no more than 30mph when he saw what he thought was debris in the road five to 10 metres away. He said he hit it, despite trying to break.

Judge Mark Brown told Riozzie that a 'sufficiently competent' driver would have reacted differently.

"You clearly drove carelessly when, having seen the object, you failed to take avoiding action. Having struck Ms Smith, you have continued on for some distance when she was trapped under the car," he said.

Judge Brown said that while Riozzie wasn't over the drink-drive limit when tested after the collision, his drinking had led to the 'fateful step' of taking his father's car. He added that Ms Smith had also put herself in harm's way by lying prone in the road after drinking.

Defending, Simon Killeen said Riozzie was a hardworking and reliable student who had a strong sense of community responsibility and hoped to become a fire fighter.

Judge Brown sentenced him to 10 months in a young offender's institution and concurrent six month sentences for causing death by driving without insurance and without a valid driving licence. The Liverpool Echo reports he was also banned from driving for three years.

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