Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Woman jailed for car chase death


A jealous girlfriend has been jailed after causing the death of a pedestrian as she engaged in a car pursuit with her lover who she believed was cheating on her, police said today.

Claire Johnson, 25, a teacher, of Locks Road, Locks Heath, Southampton, was sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court to two years after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

The accident in Park Road, Portsmouth, caused the death of 22-year-old scaffolder Matthew Bailey.

The boyfriend, Russell Bennett, 24, of Brock Close, Birmingham, was sentenced to 14 months after pleading guilty to dangerous driving.

The court heard that Johnson, suspecting that Bennett was having an affair, waited outside the restaurant where he worked.

When she saw him drive off with a woman in his car at 2am, she followed him.

Bennett, driving a Ford Focus, became aware of his girlfriend pursuing him in her BMW Mini and drove through three red lights in a bid to get away from her.

As the two cars drove along Park Road, Bennett's car missed Mr Bailey as he attempted to cross the road with some friends after a night out but he was struck by Johnson's Mini.

The court heard that Johnson got out of her car and tried to resuscitate Mr Bailey but he died as a result of the accident.

Speaking to the Portsmouth News after the court hearing on December 2, Mr Bailey's mother, Anne Hayes, said: "He was so happy with his new job and full of plans for the future.

"Thinking of all the things he will never do and all the times he won't be there is just unbearable."