Dangerous driver jailed for two and a half years after crash near St Albans killed 18-year-old

Joshua Porter, who was killed in a car accident on August 25 when James Norton spun off the road and

Joshua Porter, who was killed in a car accident on August 25 when James Norton spun off the road and hit a tree on the A414 near St Albans. Picture: Herts police - Credit: Archant

A dangerous driver who caused an accident which killed his friend has been jailed for two and a half years.

James Norton, 19, of Latimer Close in Hemel Hempstead, was driving his red Vauxhall Corsa along the A414 towards St Albans on his way to Watford’s West Herts College at 2.15pm on August 25, 2017.

Travelling at between 79.3mph and 84.6mph with his friend Joshua Porter in the passenger seat, Norton lost concentration and at the last second had to swerve to avoid a slower car in front.

Norton spun off the road and hit a tree.

Emergency services attended the scene but Bushey 18-year-old Joshua passed away from his injuries before he could reach hospital.

Joshua left his mother Deborah, father David, older sister Jayne and younger brother Benjamin.

Norton was taken to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington with serious injuries but was discharged the next day. He was found guilty of dangerous driving at St Albans Crown Court on December 5.

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On January 7 Norton was sentenced to the jail time and disqualified for four years and two months. He will also have to take an extended test before getting another licence.

Joshua’s mother Deborah said: “We are serving a life sentence without Joshua here. He had his whole life ahead of him with a career in the army, and later in life a wife, a family of his own, grandchildren, nieces or nephews.

“There is so much more Joshua had to do in his life, as an individual and with his family, but all that was cut extremely short on August 25, 2017.

“We love and miss Joshua more than anything. As each day passes without him, it’s heart-breaking. He will be forever 18.”

Former Queens’ School student Joshua was described as “cheeky” and “adventurous”.

He was a public services student, an Explorer with 1st Hatch End Scouts, played for Fullerians Rugby Football Club in Watford, and was a Sgt in the Combined Cadet Force.

People at Joshua’s funeral raised £740 for Help For Heroes.

Family liaison officer PC Dale Morris said: “This is a really tragic case for all concerned. Joshua was just 18 when he lost his life.

Now his family and friends won’t see him realise his dreams and they have to suffer the pain of living without him every day.

“Joshua’s friend will have to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life.”