Drink driver who reached 100mph before killing young woman in Leeds jailed

Jonathon Hopkinson/Alice Birchall
Jonathon Hopkinson reached 'breathtaking' speeds before killing Alice Birchall Credit: West Yorkshire Police

A drink driver who reached speeds of 100mph in a residential area before causing a fatal crash has been jailed.Jonathon Hopkinson, 35, had been at a restaurant and was over the limit when he collided with a car being driven by 22-year-old Alice Birchall in Leeds on 18 June 2022.Leeds Crown Court heard Hopkinson, of Hollyshaw Lane, was seen on CCTV driving at "excessive speeds" in residential areas.

He reached 100mph in a 30mph zone shortly before crashing into Miss Birchall's Nissan Juke on Manston Lane.

She died two days later.

In a statement given at Leeds Crown Court, Miss Birchall's sister Amy said: "The senseless death of Alice has left a gaping hole in all of our lives. We all miss her positivity. We all miss her beautiful face."The court heard Hopkinson's young daughter was in his car at the time of the crash and suffered cuts to her face, a broken nose and a fractured eye socket. Hopkinson was also injured and had to be put into an induced coma.He pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and causing injury by dangerous driving.

A therapist who said she had been driven by Hopkinson before the incident, said: "This has affected him deeply. He cannot remember the crash and cannot comprehend why he would drive that way, especially with [his daughter] in the car. It's mind boggling."Hopkinson was jailed for eight years and banned from driving for 12 years.

Judge Tom Bayliss KC told him: "You chose to drive at grossly excessive speeds for some considerable distance."The speeds showed on the CCTV is breathtaking."

After the sentencing Det Con Lindsey Pickles, of West Yorkshire Police’s Major Collision Enquiry Team, said: “By taking to the wheel while over limit that night, Hopkinson’s actions caused the death of one young woman and untold devastation to her friend and family.

“He also caused the serious injury of a child.

“Our thoughts go out to Alice’s family. Nothing will bring her back, but I hope the sentence handed down today will bring some closure as well as serving as a message to those who drive under the influence of drink or drugs.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.