Woman, 23, jailed after killing baby while drink-driving

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A woman has been jailed after killing a six-month-old baby while drink-driving.

Lucy Dyer, 23, from Llanelli, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and drink-driving at Swansea Crown Court on Monday and was jailed for four years.

The mother-of-one had been drinking in pubs in the town on 8 October when she got into her blue BMW 3 series to drive home.

During the drive, she sped through a busy crossroads crashing into a family's blue Vauxhall Vectra.

She hit the side of the car which was carrying baby Eva Maria Nichifor and her parents, Carmen and Florin.

Eva Maria, who had been strapped into a child seat in the back of the car where she was sat with her mother, suffered "catastrophic and irreversible brain damage" during the impact, the court heard.

Prosecutor Carina Hughes said Dyer had been behaving in a "merry" and "boisterous" way before leaving the pub and had to be stopped by door staff from taking her drink with her, according to onlookers.

Witnesses told police they saw Dyer driving at speed and did not brake as she headed through the junction at Heol Goffa where she was supposed to give way.

After colliding with the family's car, Dyer ran down the road before returning to the scene and sitting on a grass bank with her cousin who had been in the passenger seat when the accident happened.

Ms Hughes said: "The impact caused Carmen to exit the car holding her baby Eva Marie and screaming for help.

"Witnesses at the scene called the emergency services and a family living on the street assisted. A Miss Evans took hold of the baby who clearly had sustained a head injury.

"Carmen was so distraught she dropped to her knees and was naturally inconsolable."

Police arrived at the scene and approached Dyer who they said smelled of alcohol and was in "visible distress".

When she was asked how much she had to drink, she told officers she had had two glasses of vodka and lemonade.

A test later revealed she was almost twice the legal drink driving limit.

Dyer repeatedly asked officers: "Did I kill the baby?" and said she "never meant to hurt anyone".

Eva Marie was taken to the University Hospital of Wales but surgeons were unable to save her and she died in the intensive care unit (ICU) the next day at 2.20pm surrounded by her family, Ms Hughes said.

The family, who had moved from Romania to the UK three years ago, had been on their way to get a takeaway together after the father Florin had finished his shift as a Deliveroo driver when the accident happened.

In a statement read to the court, the married couple said: "I came to this country to ensure a better life for my family and ended up tearing it apart. Since this tragedy has happened I couldn't sleep. I eat very rarely and when I close my eyes we only see her.

"In the house where we live we can't see our place there without our little Eva because everywhere we look we see only memories of her, how happy she was with us, and how we learned with her what happiness means.

"What we want is justice for our baby who was taken from us too soon."

Kate Williams, defending, said her client accepted responsibility for her actions. She had written a letter to the court saying she was "truly sorry" and that the "guilt will stay with her forever".

The court heard how Dyer had no previous convictions or driving penalties and is a single mother of a young boy with autism.

She had to be remanded into custody in a previous hearing for her own protection due to threats being made towards her from members of the local community.

Sentencing Dyer, Judge Rhys offered his condolences to the family of Eva Maria, and said: "Every life is valuable of course, but a child's life is an incalculable blessing to her parents.

"The sentence I pass will do little to comfort the parents, or wider family, at such a loss, which is bound to leave an indelible mark on their lives probably forever and a day."

Turning to Dyer, he said her actions that day were "inexcusable and beyond belief" and that her speeding and intoxication led to "catastrophic consequences".

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