BRIAN Hampton is today behind bars after being convicted of perverting the course of justice following the crash which claimed the life of Ringwood teenager Jade Clark.

The Health and safety executive was found guilty by a jury following just 51 minutes of deliberations at Bournemouth Crown Court.

Hampton was jailed for a total of six years for causing the crash and trying to evade justice.

See our live coverage from the trial today

Hairdresser Jade, 16, was struck from behind by Hampton’s Volvo XC90 as she travelled along the A31 near Ringwood on the evening of February 24 this year. Her red scooter was hooked into the front grille of the car before being propelled 11-22 meters along the road.

The heartless father-of-two briefly stopped at the scene before driving off, leaving Jade exposed to the fast moving traffic. She was tragically struck by one or more vehicles and suffered catastrophic head injuries. She died at the scene.

Hampton, of Hornash Lane in Shadoxhurst, near Ashford, perverted the course of justice by arranging for crash damage on his car to be repaired at a garage in Kent in a bid to evade justice.

The court heard Hampton told a catalogue of lies following the horror crash.

He deceived his wife, mechanics, work colleagues and the police about how the front of his Volvo XC90 had been damaged.

A major investigation was launched by Dorset Police involving officers from the traffic unit and from the Major Crime Investigation Team. In total around 1,400 VolvoXC90s were inspected and eliminated in Dorset and surrounding counties. Hampton was finally arrested on March 21 and subsequently charged in connection with the accident. Hampton pleaded guilty in June to causing death by careless driving, two counts of driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.

Pierce Wauchope, representing, said Hampton is “absolutely devastated by what he did” - for causing Jade’s death and the impact on her family.

Judge Samuel Wiggs handed Hampton four years for perverting the course of justice, two years for death by careless driving to run consecutively. He was also jailed for four months for two counts of driving whilst disqualified to run concurrently. There was no separate penalty for two counts of driving without insurance.

He told Hampton: “You killed a young girl who was driving her moped.

“You were very fortunate not to be charged with causing death by careless driving. It could be argued that your driving fell far below the standards of a competent and careful driver.

“This is a bad case of causing death by careless driving.”

A victim impact statement from Jade’s devastated mum Sharon was read to the court. In it she said people can only imagine the number of times she has thought whether she should have bought the scooter for Jade.

She added: “In my bad times I blame myself. When I think about it I know Jade did and would thank me for getting it for her. It really did give her independence.”

"I wake in the night imagining her lying in the road crying out for her mum. It is almost unbearable and I hope she didn't suffer.

“No punishment will be suitable and none will bring Jade back.”

Outside court, Sharon said the sentence “wasn’t enough”.

She added: “I’ll never forgive him, ever. My heart will always cry for her. She had so much ahead of her.”

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