Man jailed for killing girlfriend in cocaine-fuelled high speed crash in Cardiff

A traffic camera showed the moment Andrew Vowles crashed the vehicle he was driving, killing a mother of four. Credit: South Wales Police

A man has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for causing death by dangerous driving after crashing his car off an overpass in Cardiff.

A court heard that Andrew Vowles, who's 35, showed a "flagrant disregard for the rules of the road" during the incident which left his girlfriend dead.

Danielle Andrews was 28 and a mother of four.

Cardiff Crown Court heard that Vowles had five times the safe amount of cocaine in his body when the crash happened at around 4am on November 28, 2020.

The hearing was told that Vowles had picked up Danielle Andrews after driving back from London, before the pair checked into the Park Inn By Radisson hotel in Cardiff.

They then had an evening out, during which, the prosecution said, both took cocaine.

Later that night, the couple were told they may have to leave their hotel after guests complained of 'shouting and smashing' in their room.

At 0345am, CCTV footage shows Vowles' Volkswagen Golf Car leaving the hotel's underground car park.

Cameras recorded it travelling through Cardiff onto the A470 northbound. 

The incident occurred on the Gabalfa roundabout above the A470 Credit: South Wales Police

In the moments before the crash, the court heard a message was sent from Vowles' mobile phone arranging to buy more cocaine in Bargoed.

Just after 4am, camera footage shows the car leaving the A470 via a slip road towards the Coryton interchange. 

The court heard the vehicle was travelling at 60 - 62mph on a 40mph road and failed to stop at a red light.

It then hit a curb before travelling through the air across a carriageway and through a barrier, 'demolishing' it, and into a wooded area beneath.

Prosecutor Rachel Knight told the court the car rotated clockwise, with the front passenger seat bearing the brunt of the impact.  Danielle Andrews was later pronounced dead at the scene. 

Andrew Vowles, who escaped with minor injuries, originally told police there were three or four people travelling inside. 

Toxicology tests revealed there was five times the safe limit of a cocaine by-product in his blood, and that he'd drunk alcohol.

The court heard he later gave two "no comment" interviews to police, before pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

The defendant claimed to have no memory of the incident and blamed Danielle Andrews for having to leave the hotel. 

In a Victim Impact Statement, Danielle's family described her as an "intelligent, vivacious" woman, who was a daughter, sister, niece and granddaughter.

They added that "Vowles' disgraceful behaviour has not only robbed Danielle of her future, but also her children of the chance to know their mother."

Sentencing Vowles, who was 33 at the time of the incident, to 7 years and 6 months - half of which must be served in jail - His Honour Judge Richard Williams described the incident as "as clear a case of dangerous driving as I have seen." 

Rejecting the suggestion that the defendant had shown remorse for his actions, he told Vowles: "It cannot be said there is genuine remorse in this case ,as opposed to self-pity."

Vowles was also disqualified from driving for 5 years upon his release, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge.