Cumbria

Driver jailed over pregnant Cumbrian woman's death

  • 29 July 2010
  • From the section Cumbria

A driver has been jailed for two years after he lost control of his car and killed a pregnant Cumbrian woman.

Anne-Marie McCreadie, 29, of Lowry Hill, died when a BMW mounted the pavement while she was walking in Wilson Row, Penrith, in May last year.

Carlisle Crown Court heard 41-year-old Andrew Harrison was driving in wet conditions with faulty brakes.

Harrison, of Patergill Park, Penrith, had denied causing the death of Mrs McCreadie by careless driving.

Mrs McCreadie, who was six-months pregnant, suffered severe pelvic injuries when the BMW mounted the pavement and skidded into her.

She was with a friend and her husband Andrew at the time.

'Appalling human tragedy'

During a three-day trial in June this year, the court heard Harrison had transformed his life after battling to overcome a long-term drug addiction but had lapsed.

Heroin and cannabis were found in his system following the crash, however, there was no evidence to suggest his drug abuse played a part in Mrs McCreadie's death.

Image caption Andrew McCreadie described his wife as "fun-loving and beautiful"

The court heard Harrison was driving despite his car displaying warning lights indicating a fault with the vehicle's anti-lock braking system and traction control.

The prosecution also claimed he had accelerated too hard in the moments before hitting Mrs McCreadie and had not made allowance for the wet conditions at the time.

Harrison told the court he had been "devastated" by Mrs McCreadie's death.

Sentencing, Judge Paul Batty QC described the case as "an appalling human tragedy".

He said: "She was at the time six months pregnant with her unborn child, who died. All this occurred in the presence of her husband.

"In my judgment this case falls somewhere between the middle and highest level of culpability for such an offence."

The judge added that Mrs McCreadie's family would find the sentence "wholly inadequate" but no price could be put on the loss of life.

Harrison will serve 12 months in jail and the remainder on licence. He was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to take an extended test before returning to the roads.

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