The drink driver responsible for the death of grime rapper Cadet has been sentenced to prison for four years and eight months.
On February 9 last year, in Wrinehill, Staffordshire, Cadet – real name Blaine Johnson, from south London – was in a taxi on his way to a gig at Keele University.
The 28-year-old’s flourishing career was cut short however, when Jordan Birch’s van smashed into his cab at twice the 30mph speed limit. The rapper was pronounced dead at the scene on the A531 Main Road.
Birch, 23, from Shropshire, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. The defendant had been driving a Vauxhall Combo van at around 65-69mph, on the wrong side of the road, when he crashed into a Toyota Prius taxi in the early hours of the morning, driven by Kashif Usman.
Prosecutor Paul Spratt said Birch had drunk six pints at Madeley Working Men’s Club and at the Sneyd Arms, in Keele, that same evening. Birch, Usman and three other taxi passengers were taken to hospital for treatment after the crash.
Spratt said, as per ITV: ‘The defendant drove at twice the speed limit on the wrong side of the road after consuming six pints and was in excess of the legal limit.’ The prosecutor added that Cadet was ‘widely adored as a rising star of the music scene’ and ‘on the cusp of securing greater commercial success’.
A blood test taken from Birch six hours after the crash gave a reading of 87 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood – against the legal limit of 80.
While Peter Cooper, defending, said Birch was ‘full of remorse’, he was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison, as well as being handed a two-year driving ban from when he’s released. He must take an extended test before he can drive again.
The judge said: ‘The consequences were catastrophic and the consequences have to be faced by you.’
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Topics: Music, drink driving, Grime, Rap