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First picture of mother-of-two killed after two boy racers smashed into her car at almost 70MPH in a 30 zone

10 January 2014

This is the first picture of a young mother killed when two boy racers smashed into her car at almost 70mph in a 30 zone.

Emily Phillips, 25, died after speeding driver Paul Hemmingway, who was 19 at the time, lost control of his £5,000 Seat Leon FR and ploughed into the family car being driven by her partner Paul Smith.

Bradford Crown Court heard that her two young children, aged seven and four, were also in the back seat of the Vauxhall Astra at the time of the crash in Boothtown, Halifax, last January.

Hemmingway had been racing along the A647 Boothtown Road with uninsured and unlicensed Mark Collins, who was driving a Mercedes CLK Coupe he had bought that morning.

Collins, 26, of Queensbury, and Hemmingway, 20, formerly of Bradford, both pleaded guilty to causing Emily's death by dangerous driving today.

Both have been jailed. Hemmingway was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in a young offenders institution and Collins was jailed for four-and-a-half years for the driving offence.

Speaking after the trial, her ex-partner Paul said the crash had torn the family's life apart.

Paul added: 'My family has been blown apart by this. Our lives will never be the same again.'

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, read out statements from other concerned motorists who had seen the cars driving dangerously on the winding road in icy and snowy conditions.

Just hours before the crash, the Mercedes had been spotted doing handbrake turns and wheel spins, but Collins denied being behind the wheel at that time.

At around 3.30pm on January 13 last year, Hemmingway and Collins, who each had passengers in their vehicles, came across each other near Boothtown Road and Mr Sharp said they began to race along the two-and-a-quarter mile route to the crash scene.

Other motorists, who later gave statements to the police, estimated that the pair were reaching speeds of more than double the 30mph on the road.

It was later calculated that Hemmingway had been travelling at 67mph when his Leon crashed into the Vauxhall.

Hemmingway remained at the scene following the crash and was later arrested - Collins drove away from the area but handed himself in to the police the next day.

Barrister Oliver Jarvis, for Hemmingway, submitted he had changed from an immature and criminal 19 year-old into someone who had recognised that he was responsible for the death of another person.

Collins' lawyer Philip Ainge said he could not explain why he had decided to follow the Seat Leon that afternoon and it was a day and a decision which he had played and replayed again and again in his mind.

Judge Hatton told Hemmingway that he had deliberately engaged in a 'grotesque' course of driving over a considerable distance in built-up areas and achieving alarming speeds.

He said: 'You engaged in overtaking manoeuvres forcing several motorists to take evasive action. 'You tailgated and scared motorists who you regarded as impediments to your wantonly dangerous progress.

'The lives and safety of a significant number of people were put in grave danger and the fact that so many members of the public came forward to provide statements is testimony to the truly shocking nature of your driving.

'The Vauxhall Astra vehicle contained the driver's partner and their two young children.

'The lady suffered multiple injuries and a young life was needlessly swept away instantly by reason of your conduct and those young children were rendered motherless.

'The effect upon the family is immense, indeed immeasurable.' Both men were banned from driving for 10 years and must take an extended test before lawfully driving again.

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