Driver jailed for killing church volunteer in 60mph crash

Cocaine-fuelled speeder, 56, is jailed for three years for killing married church volunteer, 60, in 60mph crash after being ‘goaded’ by another driver

  • Stephen Milligan lost control of his Nissan 350z while he chased after an Audi
  • Milligan, of Rugby, Warks, mounted the kerb and ploughed into Margaret Adams
  • She was killed instantly after being flung into the air and landing on pavement 
  •  Milligan admitted death by dangerous driving and was jailed for three years

A speeding driver who had taken cocaine and ended up killing a church-going volunteer in a 60mph crash ‘goaded’ by another motorist, has been jailed.

Stephen Milligan lost control of his Nissan 350z while he chased after an Audi in front which kept slowing down and speeding up.

When the Audi accelerated around a bend, Milligan, of Rugby, Warwickshire, sped up but mounted the kerb and ploughed into Margaret Adams who was carrying shopping bags.

The 60-year-old married church volunteer was killed instantly after she was flung into the air and landed on the pavement.

 Milligan, pictured outside court, told police officers: ‘I don’t usually drive like a prat

Milligan’s car mounted the kerb on Bilton Road in Rugby on February 3 last year and ploughed into Margaret Adams, (pictured) killing her instantly

When police arrived 56-year-old Milligan tried to blame the Audi driver for causing the crash, telling officers: ‘I don’t usually drive like a prat’. A blood test showed he had traces of cocaine in his system.

Milligan, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed for three years at Warwick Crown Court on Tuesday.

Sentencing, Judge Anthony Potter said: ‘The sad fact is there is nothing I can do by way of sentence which can possibly reflect the loss of Mrs Adams to her family.

‘As Mr Adams has said in his statement, if you had behaved differently that night his mother would still be alive.

‘You set off on a mundane journey which took you into the centre of Rugby.

‘It is obvious the Audi slowed unnecessarily as it was going through the gyratory system and then accelerated away along Bilton Road, a road lined with residential properties.

‘Sadly you viewed the actions of the Audi as some form of goading.

‘When that vehicle accelerated, notwithstanding that yours has been a good driving record, you ignored the speed limit and set off in pursuit.

‘You were responding to the actions of another motorist who it might be thought has been fortunate in not facing any form of prosecution.

‘As you approached a bend, as Mrs Adams was walking with her shopping, you accelerated, and as a result, in part because of the speed and in part because yours was a rear-wheel-drive car and the tyres were in poor condition, you lost control.

‘Your car came off the carriageway onto the pathway where Mrs Adams was, and hit her.

‘Mercifully she would have known little about that collision because she was killed instantly. She has left behind her a devastated family.

‘Your speed at times was very close to twice the speed limit. That alone created a substantial risk of danger

‘It is plain to me your actions on that night were out of character. I take your letter and your guilty plea as a real indication of remorse.’

Milligan (pictured) tried to blame the Audi driver for causing the crash, telling officers: ‘There was an idiot goading me in an Audi, and that’s why this happened’

Milligan was also banned from driving for eight-and-a-half years.

The court heard he was driving at almost twice the 30mph speed limit on Bilton Road in Rugby when he hit Mrs Adams at 6.40pm on February 3 last year.

Madhu Rai, prosecuting, said: ‘He lost control of his car which left the road and mounted the kerb and a grassed area and then went over an area of block paving and onto a path, colliding with pedestrian Margaret Adams, causing her fatal injuries.

‘It then crossed back onto the road, still out of control, and collided with a Toyota on the opposite side of the road, causing it to rotate 90 degrees.’

The Audi kept going, but the driver then returned to the scene on foot and gave his details to the police, although he has not faced any prosecution.

When he was arrested, Milligan told police: ‘There was an idiot goading me in an Audi, and that’s why this happened.

Milligan admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed for three years at Warwick Crown Court (pictured)

‘I don’t know why I bloody reacted. I was getting annoyed. I don’t drive like a prat normally.’

The court heard CCTV showed Milligan’s blue Nissan behind the white Audi as they travelled around the gyratory system.

Milligan reached an estimated 50-59mph speed before losing control on a slight bend and hit Mrs Adams.

Her devastated son Patrick paid tribute to his mum, saying: ‘She was the most loving, kind and generous person you could meet.’

Justin Jarmola, defending, read a letter from Milligan in which he wrote: ‘I wish to apologise sincerely to every member of the family of Mrs Adams for the loss and damage caused by my actions.

‘The events of that evening will stay with me for the rest of my life, and what has happened does not sit easily with me at all.

‘There has not been a day gone by that I have not spent time thinking about this. I can’t imagine the pain I have caused.’

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