A MAN has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison for killing his teenage girlfriend through dangerous driving on a Cheshire road.

Thomas Baird, 22, had been celebrating his 21st birthday on the night of Saturday, July 22, 2017, one year to the day he had passed his driving test.

But Chester Crown Court heard on Monday, December 3, Baird was over the drink-drive limit when, at 3am, he began to drive his girlfriend Demi Paige Grewer, 18, and her friend home from the Revolution nightclub in Wilmslow.

Prosecuting, Nicholas Williams said that having driven at speeds of 70mph on 30-40mph speed limited roads, Baird approached a roundabout on the A34 Birrell Way too fast, went over the roundabout and hit an Armco barrier.

The car – his mum's white Vauxhall Mokka – then hit a fence post on a bridge over the river which dented the passenger side door, seriously injuring Demi Paige Grewer, of Burnage, Manchester.

She was taken to hospital but sadly died from her injuries.

Baird, of Whitchurch Road, Manchester, was arrested and breath tested, giving a reading of 58 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath, compared to the legal limit of 35.

Miss Grewer's mum Lindsay Donohue gave a victim impact statement on behalf of the family which said: "Demi made me extremely proud. She had a job as a hairdresser which was an extension of her life.

"At 3am we had a knock on the door saying Demi had been in an accident – our life changed forever.

"The two other girls [Demi's sisters] have really struggled – one has learning difficulties and she used to go out with Demi but except for college she will not go out.

"[Baird] did not consider our feelings – it was just self-pity. We asked him not to turn up to the funeral but he showed up. How he reacted was insensitive and unfair, saying 'Demi would have wanted me to be there' made me angry. He also turned up at our house on Christmas Day.

"I told him a few weeks ago how I felt and he replied 'it wasn't my fault'.

"My family and I have been living a nightmare. Every night I see my daughter in her coffin – you [Baird] did that.

"She still had so much to do, going to festivals and going on girls holidays, you took that away from us. I won't get to plan and share a wedding with her.

"I just want my Demi back."

Defending, Richard Simons said Baird, who had no previous convictions or cautions, had pleaded guilty before trial and was very sorry for what he had done.

He had reflected many times on what had occurred and, like the victim's family and friends, will have to live with the consequences.

Mr Simons had a doctor's report which said Baird was of "extremely low intelligence" to the point of him having mild learning difficulties.

At the time he left the nightclub at 3am and upon entering his car, he was approached by two men and there was an altercation which led to the car wing mirror being damaged and one of the man's hands going through the open window.

Baird drove off then picked up Miss Grewer, before then going to pick up her friend and drove off at speed.

Judge David Hale, sentencing Baird to four-and-a-half years – of which Baird will serve half in prison – plus a five-year driving ban on release, said: "You drove away from any danger – there was no-one chasing you.

"You were overtaking cars at 70mph, there was no need. You drove at excessive speed for a couple of miles.

"This was a tragic case. Demi was only 18, at the start of her life."

Following the sentencing, mum of Demi, Lindsay Donohue, said in a statement: "Our family are unable to comment on the sentence as nothing will bring our precious Demi back. We can, after 17 long months, find my daughter a place to rest.

"We need time to grieve without the anger, not only for the devastation Tom caused my family that night, for the pain and suffering he has caused since. Demi was so special to me and all my family, she was so close to us all and Tom has left my family totally heartbroken.

"My family face one of the hardest times of the year without Demi and can only hope that Tom realises the pain and torment he caused my family. "Playing the victim was heartless and the lack of remorse was devastating.

"In my statement Tom and his friend told Demi's little sister to 'get over it' which was beyond cruel as they haven't even started to deal with losing their sister and can't ever imagine they will ever get over it, none of us will.

"Demi's loss has left a huge void in our lives which as a family we have struggled to come to terms with. We miss her infectious laugh, beautiful smile and the love she had for everyone.

“The words and stories shared after the loss of Demi made me extremely proud. Demi was an amazing girl, she really was.

“Tom made several wrong decisions that night and as a result we lost Demi. Life is precious, our Demi's life was precious. Demi had so much to live for and we miss her every day.

“We are extremely grateful to Cheshire Police/CPS who have supported our family since this happened. Thank you.

“People need to know that Tom wasn't the victim, my daughter was and we only hope his sentence today is evidence of this. His behaviour isn't acceptable and resulted in me losing my precious daughter and his lack of remorse was beyond heartbreaking.”