Fatal crash driver spared jail term

Yorkshire Post editor Peter Charlton delivers a copy of his newspaper to 10 Downing Street in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday July 13, 2011. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Yorkshire Post editor Peter Charlton delivers a copy of his newspaper to 10 Downing Street in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday July 13, 2011. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
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A ROAD safety charity has slammed the sentence given to a woman who walked free from court after causing the death of a father-of-two in a four-car smash.

Civil servant Yasmin Madigan, 46, who has four speeding convictions, was on her way to work when she tried to overtake a lorry in her Vauxhall Astra.

Without looking she pulled into the path of 47-year-old Michael Selwood’s Audi A3 sending it spinning into oncoming traffic, Barnsley magistrates heard.

Mr Selwood died in hospital from his injuries.

Former editor of The Star Peter Charlton, who is currently editor of the Yorkshire Post, was driving a Lexus RX in the opposite direction and was also seriously injured.

But Madigan, who admitted causing death by careless driving, was only given a suspended jail term after bench chairman Michael Marks said they did not want to ‘destroy another family’.

Ellen Booth, senior campaigns officer for road safety charity BRAKE said: “This was a really serious offence and it warrants a custodial sentence.

“In any crash where someone is killed we would urge courts to use the full range of their sentencing powers.

“It is really important families feel they are receiving justice and it also acts as a deterrent to other people who might consider taking risks on the road.”

Mr Selwood’s widow Helen, who is deaf, followed proceedings through an interpreter.

She looked clearly shocked when Madigan escaped jail.

The court heard Madigan was convicted of speeding a day before the fatal smash last September.

She also picked up speeding convictions in February, 2008, May 2009 and April 2010 and her own grandfather died in a road accident near the scene of the crash on Westwood New Road, Tankersley, near Barnsley.

Prosecutor Ian Conway said she had a ‘propensity for bad driving and disregard for other road users’.

He said: “She was intent on overtaking the lorry and crossed a solid white overtaking line.”

In a victim impact statement Mrs Selwood said : “My husband did everything to protect me from feeling vulnerable.

“His absence creates acute uncertainty and insecurity about what the future holds.

“My life has fallen apart and I spend a lot of time looking at photographs of the family in happier times.”

Allan Armbrister defending Madigan, from Thorncliffe Way, Tankersley, said she felt ‘remorse and sorrow’ and hoped Mr Selwood’s family would come to forgive her.

He added: “The defendant has to live with the fact someone was killed.

“She never wants to drive again.”

Mr Marks said the custody threshold had been passed but suspended the sentence.

Madigan was given six-months, suspended for 18, 220 hours of unpaid community work and banned from driving for three years.