A MAN whose careless driving caused the death of a Poole teenager had only passed his driving test four days before the horror crash, a court heard.
Joshua Sadler had also been convicted of a string of serious motoring offences before careering off the road, killing front seat passenger Mikey Maguire.
Sadler had already been banned from driving twice for crimes including aggravated vehicle taking, driving while disqualified and driving with no insurance or a licence.
At Bournemouth Crown Court the 21-year-old, of Fleet Court, Poole was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for five years after admitting causing death by careless driving.
Judge Peter Johnson heard Sadler lost control of his Renault Clio as he negotiated a bend at Huntick Road, Lytchett Matravers just after 10pm on February 8 last year.
The car ploughed across a bank and struck a tree. Mr Maguire was pronounced dead at the scene. Prosecuting, Simon Jones said Sadler had earlier been performing handbrake turns and ‘showing off’ in a car park at Upton Community Centre.
The court was told the offences of aggravated vehicle taking involved damage to both vehicles, one to the tune of more than £5,000. Mr Jones said Sadler lost control while driving in both instances.
Defending, Les Smith read a statement from Sadler which said: “I am writing this letter to express my deepest regret and sorrow. The incident haunts me every day and will do for the rest of my life.
“Every day I wish I could do something to bring him back.
“Nothing that is said or done to me can make me feel any worse.”
Sadler was told he will have to take an extended driving test at the end of his disqualification.
Statement from Sergeant Joe Pardey, Dorset Police traffic department
I am pleased to have secured a conviction in this case. Any case involving the death of a person is a tragedy.
It was clear in this case that driver error was the cause. We have to remember that no sentence will compensate for the loss of a life but I hope this sends a clear message to all drivers.
You must concentreate 100 per cent when behind the wheel otherwise incidents like this will continue to happen. This case also highlights the need for new, inexperienced drivers to be cautious and vigilant when driving.
Mother’s tribute to son Mikey
Today Joshua Sadler was finally sentenced for causing the collision that took my son Mikey from me.
There are no words for the devastation I feel, and the ripples of devastation for all of Mikey’s family and friends are endless.
I relive being told my son is dead every single night.
No sentence would ever be long enough, nor would it bring Mikey back.
However, the insulting sentences handed out for causing death by careless driving have been far too lenient for far too long.
Dorset Police have done an amazing job and I thank them for their support throughout. There should and must be a change in the law. A life is worth so much more. Our courts’ hands are bound by the Sentencing Council whose sentencing guidelines they must adhere to.
Last month Joshua Sadler changed his previous not guilty plea to guilty. In court he said this was to save the family any more upset. The truth is he realised the weight of the evidence against him was undeniable. I would hope that Joshua may learn from his actions.
Joshua Sadler will soon return to his normal life.
Myself and all who loved Mikey will continue to live in this waking nightmare. My heart is broken and can never be fixed.