A Sheffield driver who was high on cannabis killed his grandmother when he left a 20mph junction in Woodhouse at 43mph.
A Sheffield driver who killed his grandmother after shooting from a 20mph zone at 43mph while high on cannabis has been jailed.
Jake Elshaw, of Twickenham Close, was showing off to nearby friends on March 13, 2022, when he drove through the Cross Street intersection in Woodhouse at twice the speed limit in a black Saab he had bought just 10 days earlier.
But within two seconds of entering Tannery Street, he crashed full-on into a black Qashqai coming in the other direction – ending the life of grandmother Brenda Ellis while putting the lives of the mother and her two young daughters at risk.
In a victim impact statement read to Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday (November 14), Brenda’s daughter and the Qashqai’s driver, Samantha Draper, said: “I saw the car coming. There was nothing I could do.”
“My mother and (my little daughter) started screaming. Then my mother became silent.”
The court heard the enormous efforts made by emergency services to help the five people who were trapped in the wreckage.
Ms Draper – in a statement read by prosecutor Mr Ian Goldsack – told how every window was smashed and how all the airbags in the Qashqai deployed. Her young daughter was trapped in the back seat, leading to her being rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital where she remained in the intensive care unit with abdominal injuries for a week.
But nothing could be done to save the life of Brenda Ellis, who was in the back seat at the time and who died at the scene.
Mrs Draper said: “My childhood was amazing because of my mother. She was a second mother to all my friends when they came up. We talked every day and went out most days.
“She is starting to enjoy her retirement and her new friends, which is a joy to see.
“I can’t forget the screams I heard that day. That was the last sound I heard from my mother.
“I will never forget hearing about my girls in so much pain and how I couldn’t do anything.”
Meanwhile, in Saab, the shaw was also extracted by emergency services.
Witnesses later told police how they saw a group of young people “acting noisily” in a nearby car park before a loudly modified Saab sped off, rounded the bend and drove through the Cross Street intersection without braking.
The 29-year-old later lied to police about smoking cannabis that day, and also said he “couldn’t believe” he was driving fast.
“My mother was taken away because of selfish and negligent actions. One person’s actions took my mother’s life and could have taken my daughters’ lives,” Ms Draper said.
“I tried and couldn’t forgive him.
“We should have had more time. We should have had more time.”
Al Shaw pleaded guilty to causing death and injury by dangerous driving at a hearing earlier this year. Defending himself, Richard Adams said the 30-year-old “deeply regrets” the events of March 13, saying he claims he will “never forget” the moment he was told Brenda had died and that he “would very much love to turn back the clock.” “
Speaking during sentencing, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC saw fit to point out to Elshaw that since the date of the accident, the law in England had changed to raise the maximum death penalty for dangerous driving to life imprisonment.
Instead, Al-Shaw was sentenced to six years and four months in prison, and banned from driving for a further six years.
Judge Richardson said: “If the law were as it is now, today’s sentence would be much longer.”
“This is a serious and shocking case… It was a truly terrible scene. And you caused it.
“I am willing to accept that your remorse is genuine. I have absolutely no doubt that you are affected by what you have done.
“Your driving can only be described as unfortunate, and has been significantly affected by the use of cannabis.
“The family has suffered greatly because of your behaviour.
“The sentence I am quoting you does not reflect the value of Brenda Ellis’ life. She was a much-loved grandmother and mother, and her life was snuffed out.”