A plasterer who caused the death of a mother-of-two as she left her sister's funeral, has been handed a jail sentence of four years and four months. Tereasa Cutler's two children and her nephew who she had adopted after her sister's death also suffered serious injuries.
Lewis Faulkner, 25, had ecstasy and cannabis in his system at the time of the accident, Bournemouth Echo reports. He pleaded guilty to three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, causing death while driving without insurance and causing death by dangerous driving on 10 June 2015.
He was also banned from driving for four years and eight months at the Bournemouth Crown Court.
Cutler, 49, from Ringwood, Hampshire was driving on the A31 near Lake Gates in Wimborne, Dorset with her daughter Alice, 18 in the front passenger seat, her son Daniel, 16 and 19-year old nephew, Joseph Woodland. Her car collided head-on with Faulkner's car at a bend.
They were on their way to the wake of Patricia Woodland, Cutler's sister, following the funeral. Cutler had taken parental responsibility for Joseph who has learning difficulties, the newspaper said.
Blood tests on Faulkner found cannabis and ecstasy in his system and he told police that he had taken the drugs five days earlier. Faulkner and his passenger, Harry Barlow, also suffered serious injuries in the crash.
A statement from Alice was read out in court on Monday 17 October. She said the accident had changed her life forever. "I lost my mum, my best friend and became an orphan. I feel that a part of me owes it to her to speak today, to give her the voice which was taken from her last year."
"We no longer wish to be the silent voice of a bereaved family. We are real people, this is our real life and this was our mum," the Southampton University student said. Alice and her brother lost their father to cancer in 2006, local newspapers reported.
"Despite trying to enjoy my time at University, I simply cannot. I am not like the other students; I have substantially more responsibilities and financial ties without the support of my mum. I must admit I do feel rather different and isolated whilst away at University surrounded by normal people speaking of how they miss their mums ... they do not know how much I miss my mum."
She added: "Once these events are over, and the sentence, whatever that may be has been carried out, everyone else can go back to their lives, go back to their families, their homes and carry on with life as normal ... I can never do that."
Alice, who is still receiving psychological treatment, suffered from a broken back, a fractured left wrist and a deep cut to her upper right arm. Her bother suffered from a perforated bowel and was in an induced coma for a few days after the accident to allow his injuries to heal.
Her cousin Joseph suffered from a perforated liver, a fractured sternum and bruising and lacerations.
Patrick Mason, who was defending Faulkner said that his client was a "shattered young man." He added: "He has not been the same since — he will not ever be the same again. If he could turn the clock back, he would change everything. He had no intent, no recklessness, no malice."