Dangerous driver who killed Doncaster motorcyclist freed on appeal after three months in prison
A woman jailed over the death of a Doncaster motorcyclist has been freed from prison by leading judges because of the ‘harmful impact’ on her children.
Amanda Fitzpatrick was jailed for nine months in December last year, after she admitted to causing death by careless driving over a crash in which Clive Burdett, 49, was killed.
But she was freed on Tuesday after judges at the Court of Appeal in London suspended her sentence for two years.
Mrs Justice McGowan said: "There is a realistic, indeed strong, prospect of rehabilitation, there are very strong factors in personal mitigation and sending into custody, on an immediate basis, this young woman did have a harmful impact upon her children and possibly her immediate family."
The court heard Fitzpatrick, 30, turned right out of a junction onto Upper Sheffield Road, Barnsley, when her Land Rover Freelander collided with Mr Burdett's Moto Guzzi motorbike.
Mr Burdett had braked but fell from his bike into the road and became trapped under the Land Rover after Fitzpatrick continued driving. Mrs Justice McGowan told the court Fitzpatrick, of Templing Close, Barnsley was ‘in a panic’ after the collision and appeared to have pulled on the handbrake but put her foot on the accelerator, instead of the brake pedal.
Mr Burdett suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Fitzpatrick, who had a clean driving record before the crash, admitted her guilt and was said to be genuinely remorseful.
Jailing her in December last year, Judge Michael Slater said: "I accept without hesitation from what I have read and witnessed in court that you are genuinely remorseful for what happened that day and that it has not left your mind since, even to the extent of making you ill.
"However, having regard to all the circumstances of this case, I am regretfully of the view that it is so serious that only an immediate term of imprisonment is appropriate."
The Court of Appeal upheld Fitzpatrick's three-year driving ban and said she will have to take her test again before she is allowed back behind the wheel of a car.
Mrs Justice McGowan, sitting with Lord Justice Leggatt and Judge Mark Wall QC, said: "This court has to reflect that this was careless driving, but the position was aggravated by the extremely poor reaction of the appellant once the collision had occurred.”