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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Millom death crash driver - court verdict

A YOUNG motorist involved in a fatal crash at Millom has been cleared of causing the death of a 71-year-old woman by dangerous driving.

Jason Metcalf was yesterday convicted of a lesser offence of driving without due care and attention.

Metcalf was at the wheel of a Volkswagen Polo which crossed on to the wrong side of the road at Cherry Tree Hill, The Green, Millom, on November 10, 2007.

Metcalf’s Polo struck a Renault Clio driven by Rosemary McFie from Millom.

Mrs McFie suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene.

At the end of the five-day trial at Preston Crown Court, the judge, Mr Justice David Clarke, said: “It needs to be made publicly clear, this offence took place before the change in the law, whereby an offence of causing death by driving without due care and attention was introduced into the law last year.

“This offence was committed before that date. The sentencing powers for due care and attention do not include an option of prison. Therefore, it is a matter of a fine and disqualification.”

Metcalf, 20, of Chapel Brow, Millom, was fined £1,500, given a three year driving ban and told he would have to take a retest if he wanted to drive again in the future.

During the trial the court heard that Metcalf was said to have suffered from a migraine condition.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr Peter Wood had told the jury he felt the defendant had been in the early stages of an “acute confusional migraine” immediately before the crash.

Dr Wood said such an attack could kick in suddenly.

The prosecution alleged that driver inattention by Metcalf was the reason for the fatal collision. Before his car drifted on to the other side of the road, he had correctly overtaken another vehicle, on his own side.

Metcalf told the jury that he had no recollection of what happened, apart from driving across the car park of Millom Rugby League and Football Club earlier that day.

After the jury returned its verdict, Judge Clarke said it seemed an entirely sensible verdict on the facts in the case.

He told Metcalf he had caused a devastating loss.

Judge Clarke said: “If this had occurred after August of last year, you would have been found guilty of the new offence of causing death by driving without due care and attention, carrying much heavier penalties.

“That just shows the recognition the public have nowadays of the terrible nature of a loss of life of this sort.”

The judge said he also recognised the defendant had suffered greatly as a result of the crash.

Judge Clarke said nothing could bring the lady who died back and everyone in court will have been moved by the close and devoted attention her family had given to the case.

He told Metcalf: “The medical condition from which you suffer must be behind you before you get back on the road, behind a wheel.”

He said it seemed the defendant should never drive again, until there was a strong, clear consensus of all doctors that he was entirely clear of that condition.

Have your say

My husband Reg died from injury's due to being knocked from his push bike 15yrs ago, by a 22yr old man driving a car. He was fined a £100 and £35 court costs plus 7 points on his licence, this man still lives in Millom and I sometimes see him in the street.I and my family will never get over the loss of a loving husband and dad. I knew Rosemary she was such a lovely lady a good mother and grandmother and did so much in the church. It is always the victims that suffer not the guilty.

Posted by dorothy bailey on 8 April 2009 at 14:50

This is a joke, i has seen this lad before the 'accident' driving like a maniac - common sense says that a migraine cannot clear someone of such a crime - its disgusting that he wont set foot inside a prison.

Posted by Adam on 7 April 2009 at 17:37

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