Teenager's attempt to take corner at 101mph caused death of keen cricketer

Bradley Raper. Picture: Supplied by Chantelle Dwyer

Bradley Raper. Picture: Supplied by Chantelle Dwyer - Credit: Archant

A teenager lost control of his sports car as he topped 100mph on a rural bend, ploughing head-on into another vehicle and killing its driver, a court heard.

Jim Rumsby, now 21, was driving on the A1066 near the Shadwell Estate when his Audi TT veered onto the wrong side of the road, crashing into Bradley Raper's Ford Fiesta. 

Today, as Rumsby was sentenced to four years in prison for causing the death by dangerous driving of Mr Raper, he heard how his victim's mother's "world shattered into a million pieces" upon learning of his death.

The defendant, of Millway Avenue, Roydon, entered a guilty plea at King's Lynn Crown Court on January 20, having denied it at a previous hearing.

And the same court heard on Thursday how the then 19-year-old had reached 116mph on his journey - almost double the road's 60mph limit - before attempting the corner at 101mph.

As a result, he lost control of the vehicle, veering into oncoming traffic and colliding with Mr Raper's car - still travelling at 92mph on impact.

Mr Raper, a cricketer and removals worker who lived in Scarning, was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, where he died the following day, October 3, 2018.

Ahead of Rumsby's sentencing, the court heard impact statements from Sally Denmark, Mr Raper's mother and his sister, Abbie Jordan.

Bradley Raper who died following a collision near Thetford in 2018. Picture: Supplied by Chantelle D

Bradley Raper who died following a collision near Thetford in 2018. Picture: Supplied by Chantelle Dwyer - Credit: Archant

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In a statement read on her behalf, Ms Denmark told how the loss of her only son had left her fighting a lengthy mental health battle - and that no sentence could make up for her family's loss.

She said: "Seeing your child's name on a gravestone is the last thing any mother should have to see and our family has suffered unimaginable grief.

"The last words I said to him were "fly high Brad", which I now have tattooed on my wrist. 

"The day he died I fell to pieces, my world has been shattered into a million pieces."

Mrs Jordan, reading her statement to the court, said: "Bradley was always there for me when I needed him the most. His loss has affected so many people but it is my family that has been torn apart."

Mrs Jordan was just a week shy of giving birth to Mr Raper's second niece Imogen when he died - and gave her the middle name of his girlfriend Chantelle as a tribute to him.

Chantelle Dwyer will take part in a charity skydive in memory of her boyfriend Bradley Raper who die

Chantelle Dwyer will take part in a charity skydive in memory of her boyfriend Bradley Raper who died after a car accident near Thetford. Picture: Supplied by Chantelle Dwyer - Credit: Archant

Addressing Rumsby directly, she added: "All I hope is that you feel remorse and you will have to live with that pain and anguish for the rest of your life."

Matthew McNiff, for Rumsby, said: "He cannot say sorry enough. He understands their hurt and their pain."

He added that his client had no previous convictions and that he would "have to live with the consequences" for the rest of his life.

Sentencing Rumsby, judge Andrew Shaw said that Mr Raper was "universally loved", as he also extended his condolences to his family.

He said: "It is a road I know well and speed limits are just that - they are not targets. In my judgement, on some parts of the road it is barely safe to drive 60mph, so to drive as fast as 116mph is incredibly dangerous indeed.

"The impact of your actions has had a terrible effect on a number of people, not least Bradley's family.

"I accept your remorse is real and genuine, but it would be wholly wrong of me to ignore the effect it is had on your victim's family."

Andrew Hughes, of Norfolk Constabulary's serious collision investigations team, said: "While we welcome the sentence handed down, it cannot compensate the Raper family for their loss.

"At the point of the collision, it was established he would have been travelling at around 100mph when he entered Bradley Raper’s lane. Conversely, Mr Raper was travelling within the limit for that stretch of road and was unable to avoid the collision.

"Rumsby’s driving on the night was totally irresponsible and selfish. His actions have robbed a family of a loved son, uncle and brother."

READ MORE: 'He was just my world' - Family pays tribute to crash victim 

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