A businessman who killed a stranded soldier after driving into the back of his broken down car has been jailed for 12 months and banned from the roads for five years.
Robin Woodward, 32, of West End Road, Frampton, failed to see the Ford Focus in the dark despite the fact that its hazard warning lights and head lights were on.
Lincoln Crown Court was told other motorists swerved around the broken down vehicle on the A1 at South Witham but Woodward took no evasive action and only applied his brakes when it was too late.
Woodward had cancelled the insurance for his vehicle six weeks earlier after being told his motoring record was so bad he faced having his £1,300 fee doubled for failing to report an earlier accident.
Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said Woodward was travelling at 60 mph and the crash caused a huge impact.
The other driver Stuart Young,24, suffered fatal injuries. Private Young, who served with the elite 13th Air Assault Support Regiment, was returning to his barracks at Colchester after spending Christmas and New Year with his family and friends at home in Glenrothes, Fife.
The soldier had posted on Twitter “trying to find a hard shoulder when u lose all power in your car #scarystuff” alerting friends and family to his problem but seconds later died in the crash.
The court was told that Woodward later claimed he only saw Pte Young’s car when it was too late to avoid a collision but the court was told he had enough time to brake if he had reacted correctly.
He admitted he had been continually checking his fuel level during his journey as he was running low on petrol and unable to refuel because he had set off without his wallet.
Woodward admitted causing death by careless driving on January 5, 2013. He was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for five years. During a four-hour hearing on Friday he claimed his broker had mistakenly cancelled his insurance but this was rejected by Judge Sean Morris.
The court was told Woodward had been banned for drink-driving in 2003 and at the time of the collision had four points on his licence with three further speeding convictions pending which he had failed to tell his insurers. He also did not tell them about an earlier accident when he reversed into a Mercedes. He was then also banned for drink driving.
Judge Morris told him “You should have seen him. Everybody else did but you didn’t. You could have stopped had you been driving properly. What makes your case worse is that you have a bad driving record. Not only that but you were driving uninsured.
“There is a streak in you that doesn’t care about anybody else but yourself. Even at the time of the accident you weren’t wearing your seat belt. You seem to think that the rules of the road apply to everybody except yourself. I am satisfied that you were driving deliberately without insurance because it was too expensive and probably because you didn’t want to tell your parents about it.”
Andrew Vout, defending, said Woodward was desperately sorry, adding: “He just didn’t react quick enough. His mistake has cost Stuart Young his life.”
At the time of Stuart’s death his commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel David Marshall, paid tribute to him saying “Private Young was the epitome of everything that was good in a professional soldier; intelligent, committed, utterly professional and a thoroughly good bloke.”
Kenny Young, 51, the father of Stuart Young, said “There was no remorse whatsoever from this guy. He is irresponsible. He was trying to wriggle out of everything. He knew he had no insurance. That is totally unacceptable. He deserves everything he gets. The man is a villain.
“He has no idea what we have been through so far and what we are going to go through for the rest of our lives. The family are absolutely devastated. It has wrecked our lives forever.”