Drug addict jailed for killing ‘perfect couple’ in crash

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The family of a “perfect couple” killed by a disqualified driver fleeing police have called for tougher sentences for motorists who kill after he was jailed yesterday.

Drug addict Nicky Lovell, 38, who had 11 previous convictions for driving while disqualified, was given the maximum sentence possible after admitting killing husband and wife Ross, 34, and Clare Simons, 30, as they rode on their tandem bike.

Mr Justice Haddon Cave said the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving is 14 years’ imprisonment but he had to reduce it by a quarter because Lovell had pleaded guilty at an early stage. He was jailed for ten years and six months at Bristol Crown Court as the judge condemned him as “selfish with a complete disregard for others”.

Lovell, who had morphine, methadone and cocaine in his body at the time of the crash, was also banned from driving for life.

His partner, Louise Cox, 35, was sentenced to 12 months in prison after admitting perverting the course of justice.

The pair, both of Oldland Common, South Gloucestershire, were told their offences were of the most serious nature.

Lovell had spun out of control as he fled police at speeds of up to 60mph on a busy residential street in Cox’s Citroen Picasso car.

The vehicle veered across the road, crashing into two parked cars before hitting the bicycle ridden by Mr and Mrs Simons, from Staple Hill, Bristol.

The couple, who had been riding to a family birthday party, sustained horrific injuries and were pronounced dead at the roadside.

Mr and Mrs Simons, who would have celebrated their second wedding anniversary on May 20, were killed less than 24 hours after celebrating the news they had been accepted for fertility treatment.

Lovell ran off, leaving Cox and her two sons, who had been in the car, behind at the scene in Hanham, near Bristol, on January 27.

Cox insisted a man called ‘PJ’ had been behind the wheel, before giving a false description of what the driver had been wearing.

Lovell, who has 69 previous convictions, admitted two charges of causing death by dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

Co-accused Cox admitted perverting the course of justice.

Speaking afterwards, Edwin Simons, Mr Simons’ father, tearfully said Lovell would serve “just three years for each of our children’s lives”.