A lorry driver who was on his mobile phone as he knocked down and killed a grandmother, has been handed down a 4 1/2 years prison sentence.
The tragedy occurred when 26 year old van driver, Paul Metcalfe jumped a red light, whilst on his mobile phone.
At this time, 57 year old grandmother, Janice De’Botte was crossing the road, arm in arm with her friend.
De’Botte’s friend, Pauline Donahue told the court that they both waited at the crossing for the lights to change before crossing. They then reached the central reservation, pressed the crossing button and when the signal was in their favour, began walking across the road.
After that point, she sad that the next thing she remembered was waking up in Salford Royal Hospital after being hit by Metcalfe’s van.
Donahue suffered pelvic fractures, head injuries and mow has to walk with a stick or zimmer frame. Doctors have told her that it will be 2 years before she makes a full recovery.
Sadly, Janice De’Botte died in hospital from her injuries, 6 days after the accident.
A witness in the case, Frank Hammilton told the court that he saw both he women at the crossing just as Metcalfe’s can went “through the lights at full speed” and then hitting the women.
As Metcalfe’s can sped off, he was followed by another motorist who took his number plate as he (Metcalfe) jumped another red light.
The number plate was given to police who traced it back to a hire firm. The van had been hired to a disqualified driver and friend of Metcalfe’s, Anthony Rose.
Police attended Rose’s home address to find both Rose and Metcalfe. They were both intoxicated and Metcalfe had used both cannabis and cocaine following the collision.
Both men were arrested.
Metcalfe, who originally disputed the allegation by saying the lights were on green, eventually pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.
The prosecution were not able to assert that Metcalfe had been drink driving at the time of the incident.
In passing sentence on Metcalfe, who only held a provisional driving licence at the time, the Judge stated: “I hope you will understand that the court is sending out a message that driving whilst using a mobile phone is not acceptable.”
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