CHRISTOPHER Harris has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years for mowing down and killing girlfriend Laura Biss after an argument in a bar.

The 35-year-old, of no fixed abode, then went to Laura’s house and slept in her bed after the fatal collision, Bristol Crown Court heard

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News:

Laura Biss. 

Drunken Harris was three times the drink drive limit and collided with Laura, a mum and talented artist, as she was crossing an empty road shortly after 2am.

He immediately sped off between 40 and 48mph in the 30mph speed zone without stopping, the court heard.

She was found in the middle of a single carriageway main road in the early hours on January 20, having suffered a fatal skull fracture.

Mum-of-one Laura was killed instantly after suffering injuries to both legs, including a broken right ankle.

RELATED: Tributes to artist Laura Biss as man appears in court charged with her murder

Harris today (Thursday, June 28) pleaded guilty plea to causing death by dangerous driving in relation to the collision n Burnham-on-Sea.

Prosecutor Adam Vaitilingam QC told how Laura and Harris had been in a relationship for about a month prior to the tragic incident.

He said the couple had gone out for a drink on the evening of January 19 at Vinnie's Bar in Burnham-on-Sea, where Laura worked part-time.

Mr Vaitilingam said: "He had been drinking at the bar since about 5pm that afternoon, and she came in at 9pm, having also been drinking.

"Witnesses described them arguing, seemingly as he had let her down over something earlier that day - but witnesses also described them then making up.

"For reasons not entirely clear, but probably because they had argued, they left the bar separately.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News:

An example of Laura Biss' work

"She was walking home, about two miles, and a witness who saw her along the route said she was entirely sober and coherent and was simply setting out to walk home.

"About ten minutes after she left he was escorted out of the bar due to his behaviour and got into his van to drive around looking for Laura.

"One witness, Jason Heath, said several people had spoken to him during the evening in light of how much he had to drink, and whether he was really going to drive in that condition."

CCTV cameras along the route Laura took home saw her walking from Vinnie's Bar at 1.48am, before she was next spotted walking past an Esso garage at 2.04am.

The last known sighting of Laura was of her walking towards the junction of Burnham Road and North Avenue at 2.05am - where her body was found in the road just moments later.

At 2.06am, Harris' van was spotted driving "erratically" past the same Esso garage in the direction of North Avenue.

He then continued on to Laura's house, where he was arrested by police at 4am that morning, having fallen asleep fully-clothed in Laura's bed.

RELATED: Man in court charged with murder of Highbridge woman Laura Biss

His van was recovered from outside the house with significant damage, including a large mark on the front off-side bumper and a smashed windscreen and broken wing mirror.

When he was arrested he asked police what had happened and said he had no memory of leaving the bar or of any subsequent events.

Several witnesses said they had noticed the vehicle driving "erratically" down Burnham Road, including Nicholas Chase, who described the van driving right up behind him, and then trying to overtake.

A police investigation of the scene by DC Joseph Sample revealed the road conditions were good, despite it being dark and having been raining.

From CCTV footage, expert Craig Dawson was able to calculate Harris' speed at between 38-41mph as he approached Laura, which then sped up to 41-48mph as he continued to drive away.

The collision report prepared by DC Sample said that a "large amount of debris was found across both lanes of the main Burnham Road, with a concentration in the opposite lane to direction of travel.

This included items belonging to Laura such as footwear, a damaged phone and her bank card, as well as a wallet belonging to Harris, thought to have been given to her earlier in the evening.

Harris was jailed for seven and a half years minus the 156 days already spent in custody.

After the sentencing, Detective Inspector Lorna Dallimore said: “This was a tragic loss of life - the death of a 34-year-old woman who was the victim of a drink driver, who also happened to be her partner.

“Laura Biss died after suffering multiple injuries, following a fail to stop incident with a vehicle driven by Christopher Harris.

“She had a vibrant personality, was sensitive, caring and compassionate and would go out of her way to help others. She had a great sense of humour and was also a talented artist with a great future ahead of her.

“What this case clearly demonstrates is that drinking and drinking can and does destroy lives.

“We hope the decision taken today at court will bring an end to a traumatic and difficult time for Laura’s family and provide them with closure of this unhappy episode.”