A FAMILY's devastation at the loss of a young mother was laid bare in court.

Victim statements from his victim's widower, brother and mother were read out as Stuart Levy pleaded guilty to causing the death of Shantelle Kirkup by dangerous driving.

James Kirkup said in his statement they had been married for just seven months, had planned to work hard together, have more children and enjoy an early retirement.

"Shantelle was a natural mother, she loved being a mum and a wife," he said. "I have had to continue my life without Shantelle – it has been hard but I have had to do it."

The Northern Echo:

Floral tributes to Shantelle Kirkup

Her brother, Stephen Greiff, said he hoped the defendant learns his lesson and turns his life around.

He wrote: "I want him to use this as a catalyst for change and make something of his life and try to make a positive impact on this world."

While her mother Elaine spoke of how their world had been changed forever and the family struggled on a daily basis to deal with their grief.

"Jemima is so like Shantelle that it hurts," she said. "but it hurts in a good way."