Page last updated at 08:57 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 09:57 UK

Man jailed for text crash death

Alison Langton: Pic Devon & Cornwall Police
Train driver Alison Langton had moved to Devon from Crewe

A drink-driver who killed a mother-of-two in a head-on crash while he had been arguing with his wife via text message has been jailed for nine years.

Paul Cox's car crossed on to the wrong side of a main road and smashed into 33-year-old Alison Langton's car on the Exminster bypass, Devon, last November.

The last text sent to him was when his vehicle hit Ms Langton's car.

Cox, 34, who had had five pints of beer before he got into his car, admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

The charge was accepted by the prosecution at Exeter Crown Court after Cox denied manslaughter.

Paul Cox
It would be easy to drive into something
Text from Paul Cox

The court heard that on the day of the crash, father-of-four Cox, of Hennock, Devon, had been told by his wife to leave the family home.

He then went out drinking in the afternoon, downing five pints of beer before he got into his car on the evening of the crash.

Cox, who was twice over the drink drive limit, then sent a long series of text messages.

Prosecutor Sarah Munro QC said one of the texts to his wife said: "You wont see me again" and "It would be easy to drive into something".

Judge Graham Cottle said Cox was "distracted by your mobile phone retrieving a text message at the very minute the accident occurred".

Ms Langton was a train driver for First Great Western and had moved to Devon from Crewe.

Ms Langton's mother June Langton, 64, who is bringing up Alison's two children aged 15 and 12, said after the case: "I have not had one happy day since it happened."

Cox was also banned from driving for seven years.

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