Mum killed baby’s dad in crash after leaving family holiday to buy drugs

A mum-of-two killed her baby's dad when she crashed her car after leaving a family holiday at Center Parcs to buy drugs.

Demi-Elise Michaud, 25, was at the wheel of her father's Kia Ceed when she collided with a bridge on the A590 between Backbarrow and Haverthwaite, Lancs Live reports.

The vehicle hit the structure with such force it was ripped in two, Preston Crown Court heard.

Matthew Brown, 22, described as 'a loving father and stepfather' to Michaud's two children, was thrown from the vehicle and died instantly.

Michaud, of Blawith, Ulverston, pleaded guilty to causing his death by dangerous driving and appeared in court to be sentenced.

Paul Cummings, prosecuting, told the court that on November 27, 2019 the couple were enjoying a family holiday with their two children and Michaud's parents at Centre Parcs near Penrith but the couple left the park to go and buy drugs.

Moments before the collision, Matthew was sending text messages from Michaud's phone, with her involvement, and was urinating into a beer bottle. The road was dark, wet, and poorly lit, Mr Cummings said.

As Michaud approached a bridge, travelling at 60mph, Michaud lost control of the vehicle and veered onto a grass verge before colliding with the parapet.

Matthew's seatbelt snapped and he was thrown from the vehicle, landing in the road 'some distance' from the car.

At 1.20am, two police officers on patrol came upon the "scene of devastation", two miles outside Newby Bridge. Michaud told them: "I lost concentration and hit a wall."

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Tests concluded the driver had consumed a small amount of alcohol but was not over the legal limit to drive.

Her mobile phone revealed the pair had left the children at Centre Parcs with their grandparents – however the drugs they were buying did not play a part in the collision, the court heard.

Mr Cummings said: "It is accepted that her speed was a contributory factor. It is possible she mistook a layby for the start of the dual carriageway, which may have contributed to her misjudgement."

Oliver Jarvis, defending, said Michaud had been in a relationship with Matthew since her oldest child was born. The couple had gone on to have another child, who was six months old at the time of the collision.

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He said Michaud has taken care of her two children since the collision and has been "doing what she has to do to do right by Matthew since that terrible, terrible night".

Following his death, Matthew's family said: "Matthew was a loving son, grandson and brother. He was also a very devoted father, stepfather and family man. He will be very sadly missed by everyone who knew him."

The Honorary Recorder of Preston, Judge Robert Altham, handed down a sentence of 14 months in prison.

He said he did not lose sight of the impact on the children of losing their mother to custody for even a short period. However he said the children would be cared for by their grandparents, giving some stability.

"I cannot lose sight of the fact that this offence resulted in the loss of a life", he said. "This is an offence in which the appropriate punishment can only be achieved by immediate custody."

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