Family stage court walkout as killer driver avoids jail

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Family and friends of a woman killed by a speeding car walked out of court yesterday as a judge told the driver who killed her that he would not be going to jail.

Sales manager Anthony Morrison knocked down 24-year-old Kayleigh Sylvester when he failed to see her crossing Leeds Road, Bradley Mills, Huddersfield almost exactly a year ago.

Bradford Crown Court heard how the 39-year-old thought he had struck a bin or some other inanimate object and drove on to his nearby work premises.

As he later drove home in a different car Morrison saw the emergency services at the scene and admitted to police that he had been the driver.

Analysis of CCTV footage and the scene revealed that Morrison’s Ford Mondeo was travelling at not less then 38mph on the 30mph road at the time of the fatal collision in March last year.

Morrison, who now lives in Scotland, pleaded guilty to a charge of causing death by careless driving, and Judge Jonathan Rose sentenced him to a 12-month community order with a requirement to do 100 hours of unpaid work for the community.

The court heard that Morrison had only gone back to his workplace that night to pick up something trivial and Judge Rose said the triviality only highlighted the the tragedy of the case.

“If you had left it to pick up another time we would not be here,” the judge told Morrison.

The judge said Morrison had not been drinking, was not using a mobile phone or driving at grossly excessive speed.

“It is apparent that for reasons that I believe no one is able to explain you failed to see Kayleigh and you struck her with your motor vehicle.

“You did not stop but I am satisfied and I accept that your failure to do so was because you were unaware that you had struck a person or indeed any living thing.”

Judge Rose said Kayleigh had been a much-loved woman, who despite suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome, had led a very full and active life.

He expressed his condolences to Kayleigh’s family and friends, but stressed that nothing he could do or say could compensate them for her untimely and tragic death.

Sentencing him, the judge said Morrison was not a callous or irresponsible man and it was evident that he was filled with remorse.

“Constrained as I am by the guidelines I propose to make a community order and that order that will last for 12 months.”