Jacob Gaskell (Pictured) was breathing in the gas from the nitrous oxide canister when he mounted the pavement and struck 44-year-old Laura Hazeldine on April 8
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A drug-crazed teenager who killed a mother-of-three in a hit and run road smash whilst he was inhaling laughing gas at the wheel of a Land Rover was jailed for nine years today. 

Jacob Gaskell was breathing in the gas from the nitrous oxide canister when he mounted the pavement and struck 44-year-old Laura Hazeldine on April 8.

Gaskell, who had also been snorting cocaine and smoking cannabis, had been on a late-night drive with friends to celebrate his 19th birthday when he ploughed into the maths teacher.

The teenager came round moments after the incident occurred – but ran off whilst Mrs Hazeldine lay dying at the roadside with fatal crush injuries. She tragically passed away in hospital despite efforts to save her. 

Gaskell, of Ince, Wigan, Greater Manchester, was arrested at his brother’s home six hours after the crash and detectives found he had previously been banned from driving for two years at the time of the tragedy and had never passed his driving test.

Last February, he was also made subject of a suspended sentence after leading police on a high speed car chase in a stolen delivery van and also had previous convictions for assaulting two police constables.

Inquiries revealed a balloon fully inflated with nitrous oxide was seen directly in front of the teenager’s face in the seconds before the fatal collision.

At Bolton Crown Court, Gaskell wept as he admitted causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified, driving without a license or insurance and failing to stop after an accident.

He was also banned from driving for ten years, which will start when he is freed.

Jacob Gaskell (Pictured) was breathing in the gas from the nitrous oxide canister when he mounted the pavement and struck 44-year-old Laura Hazeldine on April 8

Jacob Gaskell (Pictured) was breathing in the gas from the nitrous oxide canister when he mounted the pavement and struck 44-year-old Laura Hazeldine on April 8

A drug-crazed teenager who killed mother-of-three, Laura Hazeldine, (pictured) in a hit and run road smash whilst he was inhaling laughing gas at the wheel of a Land Rover was jailed for nine years today

A drug-crazed teenager who killed mother-of-three, Laura Hazeldine, (pictured) in a hit and run road smash whilst he was inhaling laughing gas at the wheel of a Land Rover was jailed for nine years today

The teenager came round moments after the incident occurred - but ran off whilst Mrs Hazeldine lay dying at the roadside with fatal crush injuries. She tragically passed away in hospital despite efforts to save her

The teenager came round moments after the incident occurred – but ran off whilst Mrs Hazeldine lay dying at the roadside with fatal crush injuries. She tragically passed away in hospital despite efforts to save her

Sentencing Judge Tom Gilbart told Gaskell: ‘It shows a breath-taking arrogance and irresponsibility for you to get behind the wheel of a car in these circumstances.

‘It was a flagrant and selfish disregard of the rules of the road and a disregard for the grave danger you posed to others.

‘You were disqualified from driving, had consumed drugs in advance of driving, inhaled nitrous oxide as you were driving, and ignored the warnings and protests of your passengers over your driving. It seems you did not care a jot.

‘It was an absolutely appalling set of offences and you changed numerous lives. The accident scene itself was a harrowing one and described as one of carnage and devastation.

‘Mrs Hazeldine was a respected school teacher who dedicated her life and love to her three children. No sentence this court passes can ever compensate the tragic and totally unnecessary loss of this much loved woman.’

The tragedy occurred last month after Gaskell jumped behind the wheel of the silver Freelander, which was classed as ‘off road’, before picking up a male friend and then offering a lift to three girls they’d never before.

Sentencing Judge Tom Gilbart told Gaskell: ‘It shows a breath-taking arrogance and irresponsibility for you to get behind the wheel of a car in these circumstances’

Gaskell, who had also been snorting cocaine and smoking cannabis, had been on a late-night drive with friends to celebrate his 19th birthday when he ploughed into the maths teacher

Gaskell, who had also been snorting cocaine and smoking cannabis, had been on a late-night drive with friends to celebrate his 19th birthday when he ploughed into the maths teacher

The court heard none of the group were wearing seat belts and loud music was being played inside the vehicle.

During the journey the passengers started inhaling laughing gas before Gaskell asked for a canister and began blowing balloons and snorting the gas as he began to accelerate.

The girls asked to be let out of the car but Gaskell ignored them and carried on driving and jumped a red light.

Mrs Hazeldine – who taught at Ernulf Academy in St Neots, Cambridgeshire – had been visiting family in Wigan and had gone to Fifteens bar in Pemberton with her sister Rachel.

She was stood outside at 9pm when Gaskell overtook a line of traffic at high speed and slewed out of control when faced by an oncoming car.

One of his passengers noticed the youngster’s head drop as the car mounted the pavement before the vehicle ploughing into Mrs Hazeldine, as well as twin brothers, Jack Atherton and Ben, who was about to join the army.

Ben was hit with such force he was seen to spin round in the air before landing on the ground and suffered a fractured lower spine and three bleeds to the brain which left him immobile for two months.

Mrs Hazeldine - who taught at Ernulf Academy in St Neots, Cambridgeshire - had been visiting family in Wigan and had gone to Fifteens bar in Pemberton with her sister Rachel

Mrs Hazeldine – who taught at Ernulf Academy in St Neots, Cambridgeshire – had been visiting family in Wigan and had gone to Fifteens bar in Pemberton with her sister Rachel

Gaskell who appeared via video link from jail held his head in his hands and sobbed as Mrs Hazeldine's mother Gillian Webster read out a statement saying: 'Laura touched the lives of everyone she met'

Gaskell who appeared via video link from jail held his head in his hands and sobbed as Mrs Hazeldine’s mother Gillian Webster read out a statement saying: ‘Laura touched the lives of everyone she met’

One eyewitness described the scene as ‘like a war zone.’ 

Jack suffered bruises and cuts to his head in the impact. One of the occupants of the Land Rover needed 11 stitches to a head wound. Gaskell escaped with minor injuries.

He got away from the scene despite being chased by a member of the public and when police caught up with him, traces of cocaine and cannabis were found in his system. He gave no comment in police interview.

Gaskell who appeared via video link from jail held his head in his hands and sobbed as Mrs Hazeldine’s mother Gillian Webster read out a statement saying: ‘Laura touched the lives of everyone she met. Her children were her world and she was their rock. Laura’s life was working hard, being the best mum daughter, sister, work colleague and teacher.

‘We will never forget the severe injuries she sustained and her fight for life that night as I watched her sadly pass away. Rachel had told me Laura had been in accident but at the scene I saw what I can only describe as a war zone.

‘Rachel was at Laura’s side stroking her face and telling her to hang on. I have never seen so much blood – it was absolutely horrific.’

She told Gaskell: ‘Your actions have devasted our family and we will never recover from the loss and the fact we will never get our Laura back.

‘I hope you learn your lesson and spend time thinking and reflecting on your actions and that you never put another family through the heartache and sorrow that you have caused us.’

During the journey the passengers started inhaling laughing gas before Gaskell asked for a canister and began blowing balloons and snorting the gas as he began to accelerate

During the journey the passengers started inhaling laughing gas before Gaskell asked for a canister and began blowing balloons and snorting the gas as he began to accelerate

In mitigation defence lawyer Andrew Nuttall said his client had a mental health issues including low moods and has a emotionally unstable personality disorder.

He added: ‘His thoughts and expressions of remorse are not for himself but for the victim’s family and friends. He is not going to be forgiven for what he done and he will have to live with his shame and this tragedy for the rest of his life.

‘He’s not much more than a boy and it will be a potentially long life for him learning to live with what he has done.’

Mrs Hazeldine had started work at Ernulf as a teaching assistant before being promoted to a full time teacher. 

Principal Avin Bissoo said: ‘She was loved and respected by our staff and students, always available to offer a kind word, a smile, or a helping hand. She will be missed immensely. Laura’s death is tragic, untimely, and upsetting.’

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