Jonathon Hopkinson unmasked: Death crash dad ploughed into Alice Birchall at 'mind-boggling' speed before being dragged out of burning wreckage with young daughter

This is the Leeds dad who careered through the city's streets at 100mph before causing the death of "inspirational" Alice Birchall.

Jonathon Hopkinson, 35, drove around the city's residential roads at "breathtaking" speeds before colliding with Alice's Nissan Juke car as she made her way home from work on June 18, 2022.

Sickeningly, Hopkinson had his young daughter in the car and was over the drink drive limit.

Read more: Jonathon Hopkinson live court sentencing updates after causing Alice Birchall's death in Leeds horror crash

Leeds Crown Court heard on Tuesday that Alice, 22, had recently landed her dream job after years of struggles and adversity. On the day of the collision she had been allowed to leave work 15 minutes early, but a cruel twist of fate threw her into the path of Hopkinson, who was driving 100mph in a 30mph zone.

A brave man who came across the scene following the crash saved Hopkinson and his daughter before pulling Alice out of the wreck of her car. She had suffered catastrophic injuries and tragically died in hospital two days later.

Prosecutor Michael Smith told the court that just months later, in October 2022, Hopkinson was caught speeding again - this time at 34mph in a 30mph zone. His Honour Judge Tom Bayliss accepted that, and added: "Despite the consequences [of the collision which killed Alice], you were still exceeding the speed limits."

Hopkinson has been put behind bars for eight years
Hopkinson has been put behind bars for eight years -Credit:West Yorkshire Police

He jailed Hopkinson for eight years and made him the subject of a 12-year driving disqualification, at the end of which he will required to take an extended retest. Hopkinson was described as a "confident" driver by a witness who gave evidence to the court. Anna Duffy said: "I felt safe in the car with him."

She added: "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."

Mitigating, Alistair Webster described Hopkinson as a "decent man" and said: "He is a decent man who has to pay for one act that was deeply out of character."

The barrister said: "Nothing I say, nothing will be seen as detracting from the appalling consequences of Jonathon Hopkinson's driving. He has read before coming to court the victim personal statements. He has now heard them. They were moving and took a degree of courage from the two ladies involved that should be recognised.

Alice Birchall was killed in the collision in Leeds
Alice Birchall was killed in the collision in Leeds -Credit:Birchall family

"It may be hard to take as a reality that he is a decent man. So those statements were very hard for him and he understands that nothing he can say in terms of remorse or profound apology for what he has done. It is something that will never leave him."

As he jailed Hopkinson, Judge Bayliss said: "On the June 18, 2022, you Jonathon Hopkinson made a number of choices. You drove to drive when you were over the limit. You chose to carry your daughter as a passenger in the car. You chose to drive at grossly excessive speeds for some considerable distance.

"The speeds showed on the CCTV is breath taking...Ms Birchall was a much-loved, independent, resilient and determined young woman, who with her sister had experienced and overcome great personal tragedy and adversity. She was popular, she was devoted to her younger sister...The two of them had lost both parents, the two of them had built a future together...She did everything she could to build a life for herself and her sister..."

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