An unqualified driver from Stourbridge who killed a young mother in a horrific crash after trying to outrun a police patrol has been jailed for eight years.
Wolverhampton Crown Court heard that Paul Jones ploughed into Leanne Moore in the early hours of Mothering Sunday at more than twice the speed limit while unable to see through a steamed-up windscreen.
Sentencing Jones, who pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to causing death by dangerous driving, Judge John Warner criticised the defendant for ignoring repeated requests to stop his car.
Jones, of Leonard Road, Stourbridge, was also banned from driving for 10 years after admitting that he fled the scene of the accident in Cradley, near Halesowen, on March 2 this year.
Judge Warner said no sentence the court could pass could in any way compensate the family of Miss Moore for their dreadful loss. He told 22-year-old Jones: "This is about as bad a case as one could get of causing death by dangerous driving.
"You were seeking to escape from the police - this was not just an error of judgment."
The judge said he accepted that Jones, who had been drinking with friends in a pub before the crash, was remorseful for what he had done and had been unable to see the 25-year-old mother of one before striking her at at least 40mph.
Detailing the circumstances of the accident, prosecutor Mark Rees revealed that Ms Moore had been standing on a footpath outside a pub in Barrack Lane when she was hit by a 2.6-litre Rover which Jones bought the day before.
Jones, who has a previous conviction for drink-driving, only held a provisional licence and was uninsured when the collision happened.
He told police that he panicked when he saw a patrol car because others with him had stolen items from vehicles on March 2.
The killer driver, whose victim's family did not attend court, mounted the pavement after mistaking the lights of a parked taxi for an oncoming vehicle.
Mr Rees said the Rover struck a lamppost before careering between the taxi and the outside wall of the pub where Ms Moore, a cleaner at a local school, had been drinking with her boyfriend.
The car then struck the victim as she waved goodbye to friends before crossing a cycle path, smashing into a wall and coming to rest on top of another car parked nearby.
Jones and three other occupants of the Rover then fled the scene.
Mr Rees said of the Rover's passengers: "On a number of occasions they asked Jones to stop the vehicle but he continued to drive in a dangerous manner."
Samantha Powis, defending, told the court: "Mr Jones knows there are no words at all of comfort that he can offer to the family of this young woman. He is remorseful beyond words.
"He took a very stupid and ultimately tragic decision, which was to try and flee from the police car."
Ms Moore was taken from the scene to hospital, but died of her injuries approximately one hour after the crash, which was investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
The watchdog concluded that, in the time leading up to the fatality, the patrol vehicle had twice engaged in a pursuit of the Rover.
Although the inquiry established that the police driver concerned was not authorised to engage in such a pursuit under West Midlands Police policy, it found that officers were not to blame for the crash.
In a statement released after Jones's guilty plea in May, IPCC Commissioner John Crawley said he had written to the Deputy Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, inviting him to investigate whether the officers involved should face formal misconduct proceedings.
"I am, however, satisfied that the force cannot be held responsible for the loss of life in this incident," Mr Crawley said.
"The police did not cause the accident, nor could they have reasonably foreseen it leading to the loss of life or have prevented the same."