A man who crashed a car into a tree, killing his friend, had been drinking whisky before driving the car, a court has heard.

Ionut Unguureanu, 23, had been driving a Ford Ka in which Mircea-Mihaita Paraianu, 25, was a passenger, when it left the road and hit a tree on the B1077 between Attleborough and Old Buckenham.

Eastern Daily Press: Scene of fatal crashScene of fatal crash (Image: Newsquest)Norwich Crown Court heard the crash was not discovered until after 7am on November 26 2021 - hours after the crash which happened sometime between 1.30am and 2.41am.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said the bonnet of the car was "stoved-in" with Unguureanu and his passenger found inside the vehicle.

Both were taken to hospital with Mr Paraianu admitted to Addenbrookes Hospital where he died on November 28 2021 "as a result of his injuries".

Eastern Daily Press: Scene of fatal crashScene of fatal crash (Image: Newsquest)Mr Youell said that on approaching a sharp left-hand corner the car went "straight on across the bend" through a small track and into the tree.

Eastern Daily Press: Scene of fatal crashScene of fatal crash (Image: Newsquest)Although Unguureanu was found to be below the legal limit for drink driving after he provided a sample in hospital he had been drinking whisky in the hours before the crash.

The court heard Unguureanu had gone to see a friend who told him to "stop drinking" but he refused to listen.

Eastern Daily Press: Ionut UnguureanuIonut Unguureanu (Image: Norfolk Constabulary)Unguureanu, of Queen's Road, Attleborough, appeared for sentence on Thursday having admitted causing death by careless driving as well as driving while unlicensed or uninsured.

Jailing him for 18 months, Judge Alice Robinson said the "driving force behind this offence was you were heavily impaired by the consumption of alcohol".

Eastern Daily Press: Judge Alice RobinsonJudge Alice Robinson (Image: Newsquest)

Before he was sentenced a statement read out on behalf of the victim's brother asked that Unguureanu "does not get away with this".

He said the defendant did not only kill his brother but also him, his parents, everyone that was close to him and his sister.

He added: "My brother is dead because of him and that's the truth we all know".

The victim's uncle said the family would "never forget the extraordinary and kind person" Mr Paraianu was.

Andrew Thompson, mitigating, said the "deceased was a good friend" of the defendant and insisted the events were a "great tragedy" for Unguureanu as well as the victim.

He said the defendant's life has been "changed forever as a result" of what happened.

Unguureanu was disqualified from driving for two years and nine months.