Death driver’s reprieve

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A YOUNG driver who escaped jail after killing a Sheffield musician and his girlfriend in a New Year’s Eve road smash has been given a second chance after he admitted kicking and slapping his girlfriend.

Christopher Deakin-Frith, aged 21, walked free from Sheffield Crown Court again after a judge decided he should address his problems in the community.

Deakin-Frith was helping 33-year-old Lliam Oliver, who was drummer with city indie band Gledhill, to move band equipment in his Vauxhall Astra when it went into a spin in Beaver Hill Road, Woodhouse, and hit a Mini travelling in the opposite direction.

Dad-of-four Lliam was killed instantly with Sarah Kate O’Melia, 23, on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, 2008.

Deakin-Frith, of Beaver Hill Road, Woodhouse, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was given a 12-month jail term suspended for 18 months.

He was back in court after he admitted breaching his suspended sentence by attacking his partner Rebecca Shipley.

Angela Wrottesley, prosecuting, said an argument broke out on February 22 and Miss Shipley asked him to leave.

When he refused, she rang the police and he struck her in the face to knock the telephone out of her hand.

“He continued to slap her to the face, very hard,” said Miss Wrottesley.

“When she went downstairs, the defendant started to attack her again, grabbing her by her hair and pulling it and kicking her knees. He kicked her a few times in the lower back.”

Judith Seabourne, defending, said Deakin-Frith had stopped drinking and the couple wanted to be reconciled.

“He’s very ashamed and very remorseful,” she added.

Sentencing him, Judge Jacqie Davies, told Deakin-Frith: “This was a horrid piece of behaviour.

“There have been two other incidents, one in September 2010 and one in January 2011, which have involved problems between the two of you.

“There is now a pattern of behaviour. It could have something to do with the more serious offences you were convicted of last year.”

Handing him a four-month jail term suspended for 12 months and ordering him to attend a domestic abuse programme, Judge Davies said: “If there are any incidents you will go to prison, I’m warning you now.”

Deakin-Frith was also ordered to do 25 hours’ community service in addition to the 30 he has left to do from his original sentence.

He will be supervised by the probation service for two years.