Death-crash man jailed for three years, and told ‘you must obey law of the land’

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An uninsured learner driver who had completed only six driving lessons caused a fatal crash at Osbournby, whilst taking friends on a mercy-dash to catch an early morning flight, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Piotr Koch stepped in to help work colleague Diana Priede, 21, after the driver who was due to take her to East Midlands Airport let her down at the last minute.

Koch was left with little more than an hour to complete the 70-mile journey from Boston and drove at high speeds in a bid to make up time.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that Koch averaged almost 80mph, but half-way through the journey lost control of his Vauxhall Vectra on a bend and left the road on the A52.

Miss Priede was thrown from the vehicle and died from severe head injuries.

Her boyfriend Aleksandr Maksimov was also badly injured and later needed a skin graft. The couple were planning to catch a 6.20am flight to Riga so that Miss Priede could visit her seriously ill mother in Latvia.

Mr Howes said: “The plan was to leave Boston at 3am but in the event they did not leave until 4.30am.

The car flipped up and barrel-rolled several times before hitting a tree. It ended up on its side in a field.

Mr Howes said: “Koch gave a negative reading when a breath test was carried out.

“He told the officers that his friends had been pressing him to get there quickly. He was told to complete the journey in 45 minutes.”

“The sat nav system indicated he drove from Donington roundabout to the scene of the collision at an average of 80mph – through a 60mph limit.

“Koch was the holder of a provisional licence. He was not supervised and did not have L-plates on. He had not passed his test and had only had six driving lessons.”

Koch, who was also not insured, had been stopped by police twice in the previous month for driving without a licence and been fined on each occasion.

Koch, 26, of Tytton Lane East, Wyberton, Lincolnshire, admitted causing death by dangerous driving on April 30. He was jailed for three years and banned from driving for six years.

Liz Hart, defending, said Koch accepted full responsibility for the collision and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. She added: “Mr Koch came to the United Kingdom five years prior to this incident occurring. He came because his family were suffering financial hardship. He gave up studying in Poland to come and earn money.

“He was viewed both by his colleagues and his employer as a man of stature within the community. He is seen as honest and hard working. He is engaged to be married to a young lady. The future looked very bright for him.”

Judge Michael Heath told Koch “The simple fact is that if you come to this country and drive on the road then you must obey the law of this country.”