A YOUNG farm labourer has been jailed for 33 months for causing a grandmother's death by dangerous driving.

Carol Broxholme, 59, of Wellington, died when a trailer towed in the opposite direction by a tractor driven by Jack Retter became detached and smashed into the front of her car.

Retter, 21, but 19 at the time of the tragedy in Taunton in March 2017, wept as he heard an impact statement from Mrs Broxholme's family during a hearing in Taunton Crown Court today (Friday).

The statement from her children Luke, Tiffany and Sherryann, who was badly injured in the crash, daughter-in-law Jo and twin grandchildren Josh and Layla said: "We've struggled to find the words to describe how we feel.

"She's gone and we'll never see her again.

"Josh and Lyla ask about her almost every day. They ask where heaven is and want to know if nanny is happy and safe and wish they could go to heaven to see her."

William Hunter, prosecuting, said Retter, of Viney Cross, Monton, Devon, and his brother had bought a trailer in Weston-super-Mare, even though it had "weeds and brambles growing up through it", had no MOT and had 17 faults, including no stop, rear or indicator lights, brakes and emergency brakes that were not operational and a hand brake lever that was not working.

They attached it to their tractor with a dolly converter that had 11 defects, such as a severely corroded A frame, a detached spring and worn tyres.

The trailer was "bouncing up and down" by the time Retter reached Bridgwater Road, Taunton - the driver behind said he was so concerned he "kept his distance", said Mr Hunter.

He added: "The trailer then became detached - it was never properly connected - hit the kerb, bounced approximately 60 metres after being disconnected and collided with (Mrs Broxholme's) car."

Mrs Broxholme died at the scene from "catastrophic head injuries", while Sherryann, 25, suffered a depressed skull fracture and broken bones in her neck and was in hospital for five weeks.

Mr Hunter said Retter "deliberately disregarded the law" by driving a "clearly unroadworthy" vehicle and failing to carry out all necessary checks.

He added: "A reasonably competent driver would have been aware of the defects. The defendant took risk after risk."

Derek Perry, defending, said Retter's background in the farming community meant he had seen "customs and practices in the agricultural community" where farmers are "out there on a daily basis doing thing they shouldn't be doing with vehicles".

"He isn't some kind of boy racer or cavalier driver who takes risks," added Mr Perry.

"He never set out that day to cause harm to anyone. Tragedy has been thrust upon such decent people."

Following the fatal incident, Retter turned round and tried to help other people at the scene, but he had a panic attack and was unable to stand up, said Mr Perry.

Retter had previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Jailing him for 33 months (concurrent) on each count, imposing a four-year driving ban and a £175 statutory charge, Judge David Ticehurst said: "I'm in no doubt you had no intention and no thought that your driving would lead to the tragic death.

"The events of that day will continue to affect you for the rest of your life, just as they will continue to affect the Broxholme family. it was tragic accident that cold have been avoided by you carrying out careful and thorough check of that trailer.

"I have no doubt that you're a good young man and a decent young man.