A driver who killed a pedestrian while travelling at speeds of more than 80 miles per hour has had his sentence increased by the Court of Appeal.

Joshua Gregory was driving his employer’s vehicle without insurance when he fatally struck 31-year-old Sri Lankan national Oshada Jayasundera in Nottingham in December last year, telling an officer after being arrested that he was “pissed”.

He was jailed for nine years in March after admitting causing death by dangerous driving, with a judge claiming he used the road “as if it was a racetrack”.

The Solicitor General, a senior government legal officer, referred the 28-year-old’s sentence to the Court of Appeal, claiming it was “unduly lenient”.

On Friday, three judges increased his sentence to 10 years and 10 months in prison and ordered that he be disqualified from driving for seven years and two months upon his release from prison.

Giving their judgment, Lord Justice Dingemans, sitting with Mr Justice Bryan and Judge Nigel Lickley KC, said that the original sentence was “insufficient” and that Gregory’s dangerous driving was “prolonged, persistent and deliberate”.

Nottingham Crown Court heard in March that Mr Jayasundera, a postgraduate student doing a Master’s degree in project management at Nottingham Trent University, was hit while using a pedestrian crossing in Huntingdon Street as he returned from a party with friends in the early hours of December 13 2023.

Gregory had taken a Ford Focus ST from the motor dealership where he worked the previous evening and spent 10 hours driving it around Nottingham and surrounding areas.

Joshua Gregory (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)
Joshua Gregory (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

After police spotted him at around 3.10am, he led police on a chase which saw him drive the wrong way down a one-way street and run a red light on the wrong side of the road.

At the time of the collision, he was accelerating away from a police car which was travelling at 78mph and did not stop after hitting Mr Jayasundera.

He later collided with a traffic light before attempting to run away from police, and after being arrested told officers he was “pissed” but refused to provide a breath sample.

The sentencing judge, Recorder Paul Mann KC, said that Mr Jayasundera’s body was propelled 46 metres due to the force of the impact.

Nicholas Hearn, representing the Solicitor General on Friday, said it was “a matter of extreme fortune that only one member of the public died” due to Gregory’s offending.

Andrew Wesley, for Gregory, said that the sentence was not “unduly lenient” and that he had shown “remorse”.

Gregory, who appeared via video link from HMP Ranby in Nottinghamshire, did not react as his sentence was increased.