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Drink driver who caused crash which killed young mother is jailed

Drink driver who killed mother of three is jailed Photo: BPM Media

A disqualified drink driver who killed a mother of three when he crashed whilst being pursued by police has been jailed for six years and eight months.

Liam Ellis (on the left), who had never taken a driving test and was drunk, was going at speeds of up to 84mph before losing control of the vehicle.

20-year-old Sophie Case (on the right), a mother of three – including two of Ellis’ own children – died shortly after he ploughed into a van.

The scene Credit: BPM Media

Ellis, 22, from Wisley Way in Quinton, had previously admitted causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and driving while disqualified and while over the alcohol limit.

He was also banned from the roads for five years. Judge Mark Wall QC also extended the time Ellis must remain on licence by an extra five years after being released from prison.

The scene Credit: BPM Media

Ellis had gone out with Sophie and friend Christopher Hawthorn in a Rover in the early hours of November 26 this year.

The court heard that they had been to a field to look at some horses where they drank some beer. Police then saw Ellis performing a handbrake turn and, suspecting the vehicle might be stolen, decided to try to stop it.

The defendant then made off at speed, driving at times on the wrong side of the road and on the wrong side of “keep left” bollards.

During the pursuit, through residential roads with speed limits of 30mph, he was travelling at between 60mph and 84mph before reaching Jiggins Lane, Bartley Green.

The defendant attempted to negotiate a right-hand bend. He lost control, mounted a grass verge on his off side and collided with a parked van.

– James Dunstan, prosecuting

Both Ellis and Mr Hawthorn were left trapped in the Rover because their seats had crumpled.

When emergency services arrived at the scene, Sophie was still breathing but was pronounced dead soon afterwards.

Ellis, who told police he had “killed my baby mother” was later breathalysed and found to be one and a half times over the legal limit for driving.

He later said that he had taught himself to drive. He was also aware that the Rover had a fault and was pulling to the right.

Mr Dunstan said the victim’s children were aged one, two and three and that Ellis was the father of two of them.

Liam Ellis Credit: BPM Media

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the actions of police officers prior to the fatal crash.

Shortly before the collision, an unmarked West Midlands Police car had begun to pursue the vehicle.

The IPCC said its investigators had been to the scene of the crash and had obtained in-car footage from the scene as part of its independent investigation.