Husband who caused death of wife of 28 years after driving into back of broken-down bus near Beverley given suspended sentence

A man who caused the death of his wife of 28 years after driving into the back of a broken-down double-decker bus near Beverley has been handed a suspended jail sentence after a court heard her daughters did not want him “punitively punished”.

The accident happened on the A1079 at Jock's Lodge near Beverley
The accident happened on the A1079 at Jock's Lodge near Beverley

David and Irene Kenny were on the way home after a trip to Meadowhall when the accident happened at Jock's Lodge on the A1079 at just before 6pm on November 26 2019.

Kenny, 71, who had been a bus driver all his working life, and suffered serious injuries, later told police: "I didn't see the bus and I don't know why."

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John Seagrave, defending, told Hull Magistrates Court that Kenny, who had pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving at an earlier hearing, was "distraught, extremely remorseful and could not forgive himself".

He had suffered suicidal thoughts and unable to cope with his loss, had attended an inpatient mental unit in Hull for around two months in early 2020.

Mr Seagrave said Kenny "may have been focussed on the vehicles behind him rather than looking ahead."

He added: "All the other drivers who passed that obstruction saw the bus. He didn't. He was careless. They weren't."

Mrs Kenny's three daughters, who were in court on Wednesday, had indicated that they didn't want to see Kenny "punitively punished", the hearing was told.

Each made a victim personal statement, which was read to the court, describing the impact the loss of their mother had on them and their children, one stating: “Mum’s death took a toll on all of us, the nature of events caused so much added stress and anguish.”

District Judge Zoe Passfield ​said Mrs Kenny was "clearly very much loved and missed".

She said the accident had involved "more than a momentary lapse of attention" as other vehicles had seen the bus and had taken avoiding action. However there were no aggravating factors, such as speeding, using a mobile phone or driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

He had held a clean driving licence for over 40 years, had worked as a bus driver without incident, and could be described as having an "impeccable" driving record.

Sentencing Kenny to 20 weeks in jail suspended for two years, Ms Passfield said no sentence could alleviate Mrs Kenny's family’s suffering, adding: “Equally I do not believe there’s any sentence I can pass which increases Mr Kenny’s self-imposed punishment.”

And she said it was to Mrs Kenny's daughters' credit "that they did not seek a punitive outcome" and hoped family rifts, caused by the tragedy, could start to be healed.

Kenny who surrendered his licence to the DVLA after his wife's death was disqualified from driving for two years, and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a court surcharge of £90.