Minutes before his car ploughed into the back of another, killing a nurse instantly, drunken Osian Thomas had begged a furious taxi driver to drive behind him to provide "an impromptu barrier" in case police should appear.

It was an evening four days before Christmas on the A499 near Llanbedrog, Gwynedd, and 21-year-old Thomas, of Criccieth, was on Monday jailed for six years for causing death by dangerous driving and a further year for last March having an unloaded ball bearing gun at Pwllheli with intent to cause fear of violence.

He was banned from driving for thirteen and a half years at lice Caernarfon crown court.

He pleaded guilty to both charges and also to driving when drunk and having taken a line of cocaine, fleeing the scene and not reporting an accident.

John Philpotts, prosecuting, said Rebecca Edwards, 34, of Llanberis, a mother and nurse at Gwynedd Hospital, had catastrophic head injuries when her VW Golf was hit by a Ford Focus . Thomas, a building labourer then aged 20, had fled the scene.

Two women nurses who came across the accident realised at once that she was dead. One of them had worked with her and both had been profoundly affected.

Judge Huw Rees heard a tearful impact statement from the family and was told that the tragedy had crushed them. He had listened in private to the testimony of her lone 14 year old daughter who had lost her father in an accident when she was seven.

The judge said Thomas. had offered a taxi driver up to £40 in cash to act as a decoy behind his car in case police appeared and the driver, and another man, had begged him not to get behind the wheel. No sentence could reflect the loss of a precious life by dangerous driving which was a social evil.