Jail for killer drink driver who did U-turn on the M1

Adrian Radu (left) has been jailed for 11 years for causing the death through dangerous driving of Mark Downham (right). Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

A drink driver has been jailed for 11 years for causing the death of a father of four after doing a u-turn in the middle of the M1.

Adrian Radu, of Alfreton Road, Nottingham, was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court today (Thursday, September 13) having previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving while over the prescribed limit and driving without insurance.

The 28-year-old caused the death of 48-year-old Mark Downham in March this year.

Mr Downham died of a head injury two days later after the van he was travelling in crashed into Radu's Vauxhall Astra and a lorry near junction 27 of the M1 in Nottinghamshire.

The court heard how Radu was seen by other motorists driving in an 'erratic and dangerous manner' before the collision and how he drove the wrong way on the M1 towards oncoming traffic after the crash.

He failed both a roadside and police station breath test.

Speaking after Radu’s sentencing Detective Sergeant Clare Gibson, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: "He showed no consideration for anyone else on the road and was a danger from the second he got behind the wheel.

"Radu has failed to show any remorse for his actions throughout the investigation.

"The collision resulted in the completely unnecessary death of Mark Downham, and his family and friends have to live with the catastrophic consequences of Radu’s selfish actions for the rest of their lives."

Radu was seen by other motorists driving his Vauxhall Astra in an erratic and dangerous manner before the collision. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

Mr Downham's family paid tribute to him after seeing Radu jailed for 11 years for causing death by dangerous driving.

They spoke of their pride - revealing Mr Downham had decided to become an organ donor.

In a victim personal statement Mr Downham’s mother, Lesley, said: "Through his generosity Mark has saved many lives. The first one we were told about was a man who received his liver within two hours of Mark’s life support being switched off."

She said three babies and six children with heart problems had received tissue from Mark to repair their own hearts.

A girl with severe facial burns who had been waiting seven years for a match will now receive facial reconstruction surgery.

His mother added: "Mark is to receive a humanitarian award due to his generosity.

The Cross of St John is to be awarded posthumously sometime in the next 12 months.

"We’re very proud that our son will be able to help so many more people and that some good could come from this tragic loss."

Radu also received a 15-month sentence, to be served concurrently, for dangerous driving, and four-month sentences, to be served concurrently, for driving while disqualified and driving with excess alcohol. He received no separate penalty for driving without insurance.

He has also been banned for driving for 13-and-a-half years driving ban will have to take an extended re-test.