Philippa Curtis, who sent and received more than 20 texts before she hit and killed a motorist in Oxford, has been jailed for 21 months.

Curtis, 21, of The Street, Icklingham, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, sent and received the messages before she hit the back of a stationary car at 70mph on the A40 near Wheatley, killing its driver.

She has also been banned from driving for three years.

She was found guilty of causing the death by dangerous driving of Victoria McBryde, 24, of Horton, Northamptonshire, following a trial at Oxford Crown Court in December and was sentenced today.

Sentencing her, Judge Julian Hall said: “The message I want to get out is that to use a mobile phone while driving is madness.”

Curtis had been on her way to stay with her boyfriend in Oxford on November 20, 2007, when she hit Miss McBryde's Peugeot 106.

Miss McBryde, who had stopped to deal with a burst tyre, was pronounced dead from a brain injury after her car was forced off the road and on to a piece of concrete.

The court heard that Curtis made the two-hour journey to Oxford on a dark evening when the roads were wet and after a day's work at a restaurant in Suffolk.

The waitress, who said she had been "hyper" as she set off at 9pm, made various calls as she was driving and sent more than 20 text messages to a number of friends using the predictive text facility on her flip-top phone.

As she arrived in Oxford, she made a quick call to her boyfriend which, she said, did not go through.

She then dialled a taxi firm so she could arrange an onward journey from a park-and-ride.

But shortly after making the call she collided with Miss McBryde, who was sitting in her car, waiting for assistance.