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Cadet: Van driver jailed for killing grime rapper

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Cadet was travelling in a taxi on his way to a gig at Keele University

A man who killed grime rapper Cadet in a crash after drinking six pints of beer has been jailed for four years and eight months.

Jordan Birch’s van smashed into the taxi Cadet was in at twice the 30mph speed limit. The 28-year-old, whose real name was Blaine Johnson, was on his way to a gig at Keele University.

The head-on crash happened in February last year in Wrinehill, Staffordshire.

Birch, 23, from Shropshire, admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

He also pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving to the taxi driver.

The defendant, from Woore, had been veering on to the wrong side of the A531 and driving at 65-69mph, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard.

The rapper was “widely adored as a rising star of the music scene” and “on the cusp of securing greater commercial success”, prosecutor Paul Spratt said.

Judge David Fletcher said he had listened to some of his work and described it as “very impressive”.

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Cadet was “widely adored as a rising star of the music scene”, the court heard

Birch had spent the evening at two licensed premises before the crash, which happened early on 9 February, Mr Spratt said.

He stated the defendant made the “fateful decision” to drive, adding: “It was a conscious decision by him, and he said he felt slightly drunk as he did so.”

Mr Johnson, who was from south London, died as a result of catastrophic and significant head trauma, the court heard.

Birch suffered a punctured lung and a broken leg.

Peter Cooper, defending, said his client was “full of remorse”.

He said: “Mr Birch does not look forward to prison, but he knows that he deserves it.”

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