Drunk dad kills young woman in 100mph car race through city centre

Drunk dad kills young woman in 100mph car race through city centre

Jonathon Hopkinson was driving at 100mph and killed Alice Birchall (Picture: SWNS)

A drunk man drove 100mph through a 30mph zone in a city centre with his young daughter in the car and killed a 22-year-old woman.

Jonathon Hopkinson, 35, sped through Leeds on June 18 2022 and crashed into Alice Birchall’s car while she was on her way home from work.

She had been allowed to leave work early by 15 minutes but died from her injuries two days later in hospital.

A man helped pull out Hopkinson, his daughter and Alice from her car.

Prosecutor Michael Smith told Leeds Crown Court that just months later, in October 2022, Hopkinson was caught speeding again – this time at 34mph in a 30mph zone.

Mitigating, Alistair Webster described Hopkinson as a ‘decent man’ and said: ‘He is a decent man who has to pay for one act that was deeply out of character.

‘Nothing I say, nothing will be seen as detracting from the appalling consequences of Jonathon Hopkinson’s driving.

‘He has read before coming to court the victim personal statements. He has now heard them. They were moving and took a degree of courage from the two ladies involved that should be recognised.

Alice had left work 15 minutes early (Picture: West Yorkshire Police/SWNS)

Hopkinson has been jailed (Picture: West Yorkshire Police/SWNS)

‘It may be hard to take as a reality that he is a decent man. So those statements were very hard for him and he understands that nothing he can say in terms of remorse or profound apology for what he has done. It is something that will never leave him.’

Anna Duffy who was a witness gave evidence and said: ‘I felt safe in the car with him.

‘This has affected him deeply. He cannot remember the crash and cannot comprehend why he would drive that way, especially with [his daughter] in the car. It’s mind-boggling.’

The judge jailed Hopkinson for eight years and made him the subject of a 12-year driving disqualification, at the end of which he will be required to take an extended retest.

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