Drink-driving mother-of-three, 32, who smashed into a family car and killed their pet dog as she did speeds of up to 107mph on the A1 (M) and filmed herself on Snapchat is jailed 12 months
A dangerous driver who smashed into a family car and killed their pet dog while filming herself on Snapchat at speeds of over 100mph has been jailed for a year.
Mother-of-three Katie Webster, 32, had been drinking alcohol when she decided to get behind the wheel on September 15, last year.
Webster travelled along the A1 (M) at speeds of up to 107mph as she filmed herself on Snapchat, before smashing into a couple who were driving home from a day out with their child and pet dog.
The force of the crash caused the family’s car to flip and land on its roof, killing the family dog and fracturing the spine of the mother.
When Webster was arrested, she tried to flee the scene before being taken to hospital and later attacked a police officer.
Webster, of Coundon, County Durham, appeared at Durham Crown Court on Friday to be sentenced for dangerous driving, driving without insurance or a licence, and assaulting an emergency worker.
Mother-of-three Katie Webster, 32, drove along the A1 at speeds of up to 107mph as she filmed herself on Snapchat, before smashing into a couple who were driving home from a day out in Northumberland with their child and pet dog.
Tabitha Buck, prosecuting, said that at around 8pm, Webster took to the wheel after drinking alcohol and was driving on the southbound carriageway of the A1(M) at speeds of 99mph and 107mph.
‘At the same time, a couple were driving home from a day out at Northumberland with their child and pet dog in the car. Webster then ploughed into the back of their car causing it to ‘flip’ and ‘roll around five times’ before it eventually landed on its roof.
‘The family dog was killed in the smash and the mother sustained a fracture to her spine. Fortunately, the child and father managed to escape serious injury, but all three were ‘black and blue.”
In a victim statement, the woman who was injured said the family still suffer from nightmares and flashbacks after believing they were going to die.
After the collision, Webster even tried to make off from the scene before police apprehended her and took her to hospital – but she soon became aggressive.
Ms Buck said: ‘At the outset the defendant was compliant, but she became aggressive and hurled abuse at the officers. She was taken to a side room for a blood sample and was described as being uncontrollable. She was being hostile and making attempts to damage items in the hospital room.’
Webster then ‘kicked out’ at one police officer, hitting them in the thigh. Her mobile phone was later seized and examined and three Snapchat videos were discovered that were taken while Webster was driving at high speeds.
Ms Buck added: ‘In one video, the speedometer showed speeds in excess of 100mph, 99mph and 107mph.’
The court heard that Webster stated she had drank ‘two glasses of wine’ and ‘did not remember the collision’.
The court was told Webster had one previous conviction for drink-driving and driving without insurance where she received a suspended prison sentence.
Webster appeared at Durham Crown Court last Friday, where she pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving without a licence or insurance. She was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for three years and six months
Vic Laffey, defending, insisted that Webster had the ‘good sense’ to plead guilty.
He said: ‘It is quite obvious that she has her own demons and has problems with her personal circumstances.
‘On the day of the offence there had been a significant altercation with her estranged partner who came to her home and caused a disturbance.
‘She has problems with alcohol but is not drinking at all now. She is concerned about her three young children…her sister and mother have rallied round to make sure the children are cared for.’
Mr Laffey explained that Webster had now quit drinking and had no intention of getting back behind the wheel.
Judge James Adkin, Recorder of Durham, said: ‘You were very drunk and out of control. You didn’t think about anyone else but yourself when you got behind the wheel that day. There was significant potential here to injure or kill other road users on one of the region’s busiest roads.’
Webster was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for three years and six months. She must also take an extended re-test if she wants her licence back.