A YOUNG mum told the drink-driver who killed her husband he had destroyed their family and taken away their future.
Stephanie Dix, 27, said she didn’t know if she would ever be able to forgive Daniel Beaumont for what he had done.
Her husband Michael Dix, 27, from Reading, died instantly when Beaumont’s Vauxhall Corsa smashed head-on with his Yamaha motorbike while he was travelling home from work in Benson shortly after midnight on November 29 last year.
Beaumont, who had turned 18 the day before, had been out drinking cider with friends and was speeding at 75mph when he tried to overtake a lorry on the A4074 outside Ipsden near Wallingford, clipping a Mercedes on the other side of the road before smashing into the motorbike, Oxford Crown Court heard yesterday.
He was sentenced to four years and eight months to a young offenders’ institute and disqualified from driving for five years.
Last night, Mr Dix’s wife Stephanie told us no matter what sentence Judge Ian Pringle QC had handed Beaumont, it wouldn’t have made a difference to her family because it ‘doesn’t bring Mike back’.
The couple, who had been married for just over two years when Mr Dix was killed, have a three-year-old son Tommy.
Mrs Dix said she first ‘pitied’ Beaumont because of how young he was but changed her mind after hearing that he had been caught speeding on the same road a month before the tragedy.
Fighting back tears in court to read out a statement Mrs Dix said she had gone from being ‘a loving, happy wife,’ to ‘now, just this bitter widow’.
She told Beaumont: “I never dreamed that I would have to explain to my three-year-old son that his daddy would not come home again, ever.
“I’m so angry at you and the world. You destroyed our whole family.
“We had so many future plans. Our future was taken away that night.”
Mrs Dix told the court how she and her husband were trying for another baby and that she had not just lost a husband, but her best friend and father to her son.
She told how she had to be held by her father when identifying the body of her husband, and said how he looked ‘battered and broken’.
She later added: “I thought because he was wearing a crash helmet his face would be perfect and it wasn’t, at 26, it’s something I never thought I would have to be doing.”
Mrs Dix’s family paid tribute to her husband, who was raised in Didcot and Marlborough, saying he was a ‘joker’, ‘friend to everybody’ and ‘besotted with his son’.
Mr Dix worked at Agrivert, a food waste company in Benson, and had been working the late shift before he was killed on his way home to where the family lived in Woodcote.
In court, Mrs Dix said she felt ‘numb and shocked’ when she was woken up at about 2am to the news of the tragedy.
Mr Dix’s sister added in another statement: “I will never forgive you.”
Beaumont, of Crabtree Corner, Ipsden near Wallingford, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and driving a motor vehicle while above the legal alcohol limit.
Sentencing Judge Ian Pringle QC said he recognised that Beaumont would have to to live with the consequences of his actions ‘for the rest of his life’, but added ‘so will Michael Dix’s family, his widow, his family and his friends’.
He added no sentence he passed would ‘properly reflect’ the devastation the family had gone through over the loss of Mr Dix.
The court heard how Beaumont gave a reading of 106mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood two hours after the crash. The legal limit is 80mg.
CCTV footage of the crash from the dashcam of the lorry showed the bike Mr Dix was driving explode into flames on impact, and the car Beaumont was driving –with a friend in the passenger seat – roll over several times.
Prosecuting, Alan Blake said Beaumont, who passed his driving test in July 2016, had been to two pubs and was on his way home when the crash happened.
Mr Blake said after the collision Beaumont said he was ‘never going to drive again’.
Defending, Claire Davies said he had showed ‘maturity beyond his years’ following the incident. She added: “Before November last year Mr Beaumont had a bright and promising future.
“He does not ask for forgiveness and knows it will not come from the Dix family. There is credit to be given for genuine remorse.”
In a statement after the hearing, Mr Dix’s family said: “The outcome today means that Daniel will serve a brief prison sentence for drink-driving dangerously, killing Mike, whereas our family are serving a life sentence of having Mike taken from us at such a young age.
“Mike’s three-year-old son now says ‘goodnight’ to the brightest star in the sky each evening, rather than giving his daddy a big cuddle and a kiss.”
Mrs Dix added: “In such a short amount of time he (Beaumont) has managed to make two massive mistakes while driving. He didn’t learn from the first speeding ticket he got and I would have thought that would have scared him.