The Courier-Mail

Jail for killing lover in smash

- JEREMY PIERCE

SHE was 17 years his senior r and deeply in love.

She was also on a cocktail off drugs and had never held a licence when her car ploughed into a brick wall at high speed, leaving her young lover dead.

Jacob Hoad, 23, had been dating Lesley Denise Stokes, a 40-year-old mother of two children, aged 20 and 16, for about a month before the fatal crash two years ago.

In Southport District Court yesterday, Stokes, 42, was sentenced to eight years in jail after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death while excessivel­y speeding.

At an emotional hearing, one of Stokes’ daughters wailed as the sentence was read by Judge Deborah Richards. A large group of the victim’s family sat in the courtroom wearing matching red arm bands with the letters “JJ” – Justice for Jake.

The court was told the two “were deeply in love” and planned to marry, but Jake’s mother Michelle later dismissed the notion outside court.

“It’s all a lie,” she said. “After my first meeting with her I told him to run like hell.”

She said she was numbed by the day in court.

“I would have liked a stronger sentence, but that’s about as good as we’re going to get,” she said.

“Her daughter has lost her mum for the next few years, but I’ve lost my son forever.”

The court was told Stokes drove like a madwoman on the night of the crash, swerving on to the wrong side of the road, crashing into a tree and hitting a gutter before the tragedy.

She reached estimated speeds of 120km/h through suburban 60km/h streets. While Stokes drove like a maniac on the wild joyride, her young boyfriend took off his seat belt and said, “I trust you”. Minutes later he was dead. The court was told that Stokes, trapped in the wreckage, asked onlookers to get rid of her stash of marijuana because she couldn’t afford to get into trouble.

Stokes had a blood-alcohol level of 0.073 and tests found traces of amphetamin­es and marijuana in her system.

She had an appalling traffic history and had never held an open driver’s licence.

Stokes will be eligible for parole in less than three years.

 ??  ?? GUILTY: Lesley Stokes was on drugs when she crashed her car, killing her lover.
GUILTY: Lesley Stokes was on drugs when she crashed her car, killing her lover.

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