Rally driver jailed for road-rage killings

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AN UNEMPLOYED rally driver was jailed for 12 years yesterday for killing a young couple by pushing their car across a dual carriageway during a road-rage attack.

Jason Humble, 33, from Farnborough, Hampshire, was convicted by an Old Bailey jury of the manslaughter of Toby Exley, 22, and his 20-year-old girlfriend, Karen Martin.

It was revealed that Humble, who boasted he was "the best driver ever", had previously been convicted of a road-rage offence 13 years ago. He had 24 previous convictions, mostly relating to driving offences and car thefts, dating back to when he was too young to drive.

The Recorder of London, Sir Lawrence Verney, said: "You used your car in a most aggressive way in order to push out of your path another vehicle. As a result two people lost their young lives."

Humble used his high-performance white Vauxhall Senator car to shunt Mr Exley's Fiesta three times from behind in an attempt to get by on the fast lane of the A316 dual carriageway in west London, last October. The Fiesta careered across the central reservation into the path of a car. Humble tried to cover up the crime and later claimed he had not learnt of their deaths for several days and by then was too afraid to tell police what he had done.

David Perry, for the prosecution, said that instead of going to the police when he found out that the couple had died, Humble took part in a rally, knowing that "police were desperate to get details of how the couple died".

Ironically, Humble earlier had an ideal opportunity to speak to officers. He was stopped by police over an alleged vehicle offence as he was driving to the Kent rally. He became angry, complained he was being kept waiting and told one officer he should learn how to treat members of the public. Humble, who expected to win the rally, came third.

He told the court that he had never touched the Fiesta with his car, but agreed that he felt hostile and had wanted to get by it. He denied the manslaughter charge.

Sir Lawrence said the offence was aggravated because Humble had immediately driven off and did his best to conceal the car and his role in their deaths.

Humble showed no emotion as he was led to cells, after being convicted by the jury on a 10-2 majority verdict. He will not be considered for parole until he has served at least half his term. He was also disqualified from driving for 10 years.

The 12-year sentence was welcomed by the families of his victims. The Exley family's solicitor, Ashley Lancome Shaw, said: "This was an exceptionally serious case. The reckless madness of Jason Humble has resulted in the deaths of two innocent young lives. The Exley family and the Martin family have been devastated by the loss of Toby and Karen."

The chances of being killed in a road-rage attack are one in 9.5 million compared to the one in 15,500 chance of dying in a road traffic accident, according to the Automobile Association's drivers' behaviour unit.