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Wolverhampton death race driver had killed before

Dudley | News | Published:

A convicted killer who caused the death of a mother-of-two while speeding in a race was today starting a jail term - six years after he was locked up for a deadly stabbing.

Ashley Lovekin had never had either a driving lesson or a licence and was behind the wheel of someone else's car when it crashed, killing 31-year-old Nicky Robinson.

Lovekin, aged 24 had previously been locked up for seven years for the manslaughter of his mother's partner. He was driving the car which crashed in Birmingham Road, Parkfields, Wolverhampton, on August 4 ,last year.

Miss Robinson, who he had met just hours earlier in the city's Gorgeous Bar, was the front seat passenger when Lovekin lost control, killing her and seriously injuring his friend Daniel Richards who was sitting in the back and had repeatedly told him to slow down, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

CCTV evidence confirmed that Lovekin was racing a white Audi A5 which sped off from the scene following the accident and has never been traced, revealed Mr Robert Price, prosecuting.

Wreckage of the Peugeot after the smash which killed Ms Robinson

The two cars undercut another vehicle as they turned off Wolverhampton city centre's Ring Road onto Birmingham Road travelling towards Dudley.

Lovekin, driving a blue Peugeot 206, was 'tailgating' the Audi at an average speed of 49mph in a 30 limit before pulling out onto the wrong side of the road to overtake it, a witness told police.

It then tried to return to the correct lane on a sweeping left hand bend but clipped the kerb of a pedestrian refuge in the middle of the road sending it spinning onto the pavement on the opposite side of the street.

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See also: Family in tributes to devoted mother

See also: Son guilty of killing mother's partner

The car tore through a set of cast iron bollards at the entrance to the cul-de-sac Curzon Street, ripping some from their concrete base, before rolling onto its side and smashing into a lamp post, it was said.

The Audi was several seconds behind it when the crash occurred. Its driver stopped, took one look at the scene and accelerated away, the court heard.

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Miss Robinson, who was mother to Keira, 11, and eight year old Karys, died instantly.

Rescue crews worked for two hours to release back-seat passenger Mr Richards from the wreckage.

He suffered a badly broken leg and arm and was off work for eight months.

Lovekin was also badly hurt and was in hospital for 11 days. He initially told police he had been a rear seat passenger in the car but was confirmed as the driver by Mr Richards.

The two men had met Miss Robinson, whose children were being cared for by her mother that night, at the Gorgeous Bar in the city centre. She had gone for an evening out with a girlfriend who owned the Peugeot and had handed the keys to Miss Robinson during the evening before the pair split up.

Mr Stephen Cadwaladr, defending, said:

"He (Lovekin) is devastated by the consequences of his actions which he describes as blind stupidity. He recognises that there will be people tempted to hate him as a result of his behaviour and he will have to carry the enormous responsibility of what he has done to the grave."

Previous victim – Lance Hamilton

Relatives of Miss Robinson shouted 'die you b*****d' as Lovekin, of Springfield Road, Dudley, was jailed for five years and eight months with a five-year extended licence.

He was also banned from driving for eight years after yesterday admitting causing both death and serious injury by dangerous driving.

The court also heard Lovekin, who claimed to be unable to remember exactly what had happened during the run-up to the accident, was sent to a young offenders institution for seven years in September 2008 after being convicted of the manslaughter of 33-year-old Lance Hamilton, the partner of his mother Joanne Perry.

The victim received a single fatal stab wound to the stomach after a family dispute spilled into the street. Yesterday Judge John Warner told Lovekin: "This is not the first time you have killed someone by an unlawful act. You were racing that car and that you represent a significant risk of causing serious harm to members of the public."

Relatives of Miss Robinson said: "Nicky was a loving daughter, mother, sister, cousin and niece. She was an outgoing, beautiful and bubbly person who was loved by many.

"She loved life and she lived for her two girls, who she loved and adored. She would always put others first. No matter what the outcome of the case was, nothing will ever be enough for us as a family. A beautiful life taken too soon. Nicky will be massively missed."

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