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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Carlisle driver jailed for two years after pensioner killed in crash

A motorist whose dangerous driving caused the death of an 87-year-old great grandfather has been jailed for two years.

Air ambulance photo
The crash scene

Malcolm Russell, 45, from Hopes Hill Drive, Harraby, wept as he sat in the dock at Carlisle Crown Court. listening to a heart-rending account of the tragedy in June last year. Pensioner John Lomas, from Threapland, Aspatria, had taken his 94-year-old friend Gladys Challenger for a surprise lunch at a Silloth hotel, finishing the day with an ice-cream at Allonby.

He had intended to drop off his friend at her home in Crookdake, a short distance from Aspatria.

But as the pensioner tried to take a right turning for the village off the A596 at Scales, near Aspatria, Russell, at the wheel of his black BMW, ploughed into the Toyota Yaris.

Mr Lomas died in hospital 13 days later as a result of an infection he contracted linked to his injuries.

Kim Whittlestone, prosecuting, described how Mr Lomas was driving at the front of a line of traffic when he slowed down and began indicating before he started to take the turning.

Three motorists behind him all saw his indicator.

One witness described how Russell’s BMW overtook him and other vehicles at well over 60mph before hitting Mr Lomas’s car.

The collision spun the Toyota and lifted it into the air. The pensioner’s car came to rest in a roadside hedge.

Miss Whittlestone went on to outline the impact of the tragedy on Gladys Challenger, who suffered bruising to her neck, chest, legs and stomach. She said: “At the time of the accident, she was fit and healthy but her quality of life has dramatically deteriorated. She suffers flashbacks.”

John Wilkinson, for the defendant, said his client wanted to say how sorry he was for the loss suffered by Mr Lomas’s family, and how sorry he was that he was responsible for it. Russell, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. As well as the jail term, Russell was banned from driving for five years.

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