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6 July 2016, 22:02
A wife says her life is broken without her newly-wed husband as the man who killed him in a crash in Wolverhampton is jailed.
Matthew Harding had been married just over a week when he was struck by the Citroen Picasso as he worked on a communications box with a colleague on 20 July last year.
The 27-year-old from Oldbury was taken to hospital after being hit by the car but died a day later from his injuries, while his co-worker suffered a broken arm and jaw.
The driver - who was just 16 at the time - fled the scene at the junction of Jack Holden Avenue and Robert Wynd in Woodcross, but was found by police nearby and arrested.
An investigation by road traffic officers showed the teenager had taken his mother’s car without permission and travelled at speeds of up to 47mph in a 30mph zone.
The 17-year-old - who cannot be named for legal reasons - admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court last week (Monday 27 June).
He also pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was banned from the road for seven years and two months.
In a statement to the court, Mr Harding’s mother Beryl said: “Our life without Matthew is broken.
“He is the missing piece of our jigsaw that will never be found and there is a massive hole in our family that can never be repaired.
“It is so difficult to accept the fact Matthew didn’t leave on his terms, he was cruelly taken from us by an act that not could have, but should have, been avoided."
His wife Danielle Harding added: “Matt was the most loveable person you could ever come across; he was one in a million. Every day he woke up with that big beaming smile he had on his face.
“He would bend over backwards to help anyone out because he had a heart of gold.
“I lost a piece of myself I won’t ever get back."
PC Chris Ridge, from the Regional Collision Investigation Unit, said: "Our investigations showed the driver lost control of the car, causing it to mount the kerb and slide across the grassed area.
"He was just 16, too young to drive and his reckless actions have resulted in tragic consequences.
“Matthew had only been married for just over a week and his devastating loss has been felt by all his family."