A ROSS man who caused the death of a woman as he raced a friend at up to twice the speed limit has been jailed for seven and a half years.

Tom Hill, aged 32, lost control of his “souped up” Ford Fiesta and smashed into an oncoming car killing the driver, mother-of-two Terri-Ann Matthews.

Hill and Lyndon Parsons, 26, of St Briavels had been travelling at up to twice the speed limit on the B4228 at Sling near Coleford when the crash happened on January 28 2022.

Sentencing the two men after they admitted causing death by dangerous driving, Judge Ian Lawrie said: “This collision was caused by your dangerous and thoughtless driving over a two-mile stretch of the B4228. Sadly on this day, you both took leave of your senses, despite being experienced drivers with clean driving licences.

The two men began racing as they travelled from Coleford to Parsons’ home, said Mark Worsley, prosecuting.

“As they drove from Coleford, Parsons kept on increasing his speed as they headed towards to St Briavels and it appeared that they were racing on the B4228 near Sling. They were about three seconds apart. “Shortly before 5.10pm, when the vehicles were close to the Orepool Inn the second vehicle, driven by Hill, went out of control and became airborne whilst driving over the brow of a hill. 

Robin Shellard, for Hill, said his client had undergone a number of operations on his back but had nevertheless attended court in person as he didn’t want to dishonour the court or the deceased. Mr Shellard continued: “Any sentence passed for this offence cannot begin to address the great loss suffered by Ms Marshall’s family. Nobody can understand what they have gone through. The effects on Hill pales into insignificance compared to that felt by her family. “The value of Terri-Ann’s life should not be gauged by any sentence passed. My mitigation should not be viewed as an excuse, but an explanation.”