Killer driver ‘showed contempt’ by failing to carry out sentence

Jack Richardson: Hit by Lucass vehicle as he made his way to tend to wife Eileens grave.
Jack Richardson: Hit by Lucass vehicle as he made his way to tend to wife Eileens grave.
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A WOMAN serving a community sentence for knocking down and killing an elderly widower was told by a judge that she had shown “contempt” for her victim by failing to show up to complete unpaid work.

YP Comment: In contempt - Judge rebukes death crash driver

Kelly Lucas was handed a “merciful” sentence in April this year after admitting causing the death of 88-year-old Jack Richardson.

Mr Richardson suffered fatal injuries in the collision on Flanshaw Road, Wakefield, after being struck by Lucas’s vehicle as he made his way to visit his wife’ Eileen’s grave.

Lucas, 34, was made the subject of an 18-month community order and was told to do 250 hours unpaid after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Lucas, of Broadowler Lane, Ossett, returned to Leeds Crown Court after for failing to turn up to carry out unpaid work. The court heard Lucas repeatedly told lies to probation officers when they challenged her for failing to attend.

Judge Rodney Jameson, QC, told Lucas: “One might think, having received a merciful sentence, that you would have dealt with it expediently.

“You have shown utter contempt for the court order, and utter contempt for the probation service by lying repeatedly.

“In my judgment you have shown contempt for the deceased victim of your crime.”

Lucas pleaded guilty to two offences of breaching of an unpaid work order.

Michael Jowett, mitigating, said it was accepted that Lucas’s failure to attend for unpaid work had been unacceptable but she had now begun to engage with the probation service. Mr Jowett said: “She was lucky to get the order in the first place.”

Judge Jameson increased the number of unpaid work hours that Lucas must complete to 300 hours and ordered that she pay £250 costs. He added: “If you breach it again somebody will lock you up.”

At the sentencing hearing earlier this year, the court heard Mr Richardson would have been in the road for five seconds and should have been clearly visible to Lucas, who was travelling at just 24mph.

Allan Armbrister, prosecuting, said: “The Crown’s position is that she must have been distracted for the whole of that period but she failed to see him. This was not momentary inattention by any means.”

Mr Richardson suffered serious internal injuries and bone fractures.

Mr Armbrister said Mr Richardson had been a devoted husband until losing his wife in 2010.

The retired education welfare officer was described as being very active for his age, playing golf every day and doing volunteer work. He also visited his wife’s grave twice a day, every day following his wife’s death in 2010.

Robin Frieze, mitigating, said: “She (Lucas) has spent most of her time asking herself why she did not see him. She has pleaded guilty at the very earliest opportunity at this court.

“She accepts that by the fact that she did not see him she was at fault.”

Mr Richardson’s son John, 69, of Flanshaw, Wakefield, spoke after the earlier hearing. He said: “I’ve lost a father. She is going to have to live with that for the rest of her life.

“I have a little bit of sympathy for her because my dad didn’t have very good eyesight dad and he was a little bit deaf.”

Mr Richardson said his parents were inseparable.