A man who drove while impaired by alcohol and drugs and killed a teenage girl was sentenced to prison.
Keilan Roberts earlier pleaded guilty to four crimes in connection with the July 24, 2022, death of Chloe Hayman, 17, who was a passenger in his car.
After a night out in Pontypridd, south Wales, the 22-year-old used beer, cocaine, ketamine, and ecstasy before getting into his Skoda Octavia.
Roberts of Rhymney, who had never met Chloe before that evening, allegedly offered to drive her to her Tonypandy home after arguing with his partner, according to testimony presented at Cardiff Crown Court.
Chloe sustained catastrophic chest injuries in the crash and passed away at the spot when Roberts lost control of his vehicle in the village of Fochriw.
Roberts was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison and a ten-year driving prohibition by Judge David Wynn Morgan.
During the sentence hearing on Wednesday afternoon, Chloe’s mother Danielle O’Halloran and her stepmother Alex Hayman both gave victim-specific comments to the judge.
“During the course of the two eloquent victim personal statements, courageously read by Chloe Hayman’s mother and her stepmother, anxiety was expressed that Chloe would become just another statistic,” he told Roberts.
“Chloe Hayman is not a statistic. She was a real, living person who would be alive today had you not taken the selfish, criminally foolish and intoxicated decision to put her in your car and to drive it.
“Aside from the disbelief that the court feels at the folly of your behaviour, the court’s primary occupation is deep sympathy for Chloe’s family and all who knew her and whose lives were evidently enriched by her.”
Although the three years and nine months’ sentence was within the parameters of the sentencing guidelines, the judge admitted that it might seem “inadequate”.
“It is inadequate for the simple reason that no sentence can have the effect of restoring Chloe Hayman to her loved ones,” he added.
The court was informed that Roberts had parked his car in Deri before going to the club and had arranged for a buddy who wasn’t going on the night out to pick him up at 4am.
Roberts requested his friend to stop by his car on the way home so that he could get something out of it.
Roberts went into the driver’s side of his car after getting out, and Chloe got into the front passenger seat. The vehicle then sped off.
The judge said: “This was to the consternation of your friends who immediately concluded that you were in no fit state to drive and who followed you at a careful distance.
“You managed to negotiate your way in the dark and drizzle as far as the outskirts of Fochriw but as you descended into the village you lost control of your vehicle.”
The car struck railings on a cattle grid, according to the testimony given in court, and would have failed a MOT because of the state of its tires.
The court stated Roberts’ actions were meant to “frustrate” police efforts to determine how much he had consumed before to the incident. Roberts then started drinking bottles of wine, stating they were intended to “take the edge off.”
Chloe’s mother and stepmother spoke about the tragic effects of her death on them and her family in victim personal statements delivered to the court.
Danielle O’Halloran said: “Chloe and I had a special bond. We were the life and soul of our little home. When she was taken, that part was taken too. I just feel utterly broken.
“I thought time was meant to heal but this isn’t the case when you lose a child. If anything, it hurts more and more each day.”
Mrs Hayman described Chloe as a “fiercely loyal” teenager who “lived and loved life”.
She asked the defendant: “Why did you decide to get behind the wheel of that car when you knew what you had taken?
“While our daughter meant absolutely nothing to you, she was our world. You have torn this family apart.
“I can only hope that guilt and shame for what you have done lives with you for the rest of your life.”
In mitigation, Jeffrey Jones said Roberts had no previous convictions and had experienced a “fractured and sad childhood”.
According to Mr. Jones, Roberts has urged him to express “how deeply sorry” to Chloe’s family.
Roberts entered a guilty plea to four counts of causing a death while operating a vehicle negligently while intoxicated, with each count representing the drugs he had consumed.