A female driver who killed a man while using two mobile phones behind the wheel has been jailed by a judge who called such crimes “a plague on society”.
Peterborough Crown Court heard that the defendant was driving a Jaguar X-Type on the A47 near Wisbech at about 4.30pm in March last year when she hit the Peugeot 206 being driven by Mr Johal, 27, from Leicester, who died at the scene.
A police investigation found that defendant, from Peterborough, had used a Sony phone to send a text message at 4.15pm and receive a message at 4.17pm. Further, a Samsung phone sent one message, made one phone call and received three incoming calls in the 20 minutes leading up to the crash.
Georgina Gibbs, prosecuting, told the court that the defendant, 31, continued to deny using the phones despite the findings of a police investigation. She had previously been caught twice using her phone behind the wheel and her licence was endorsed in 2009 and 2012. Ms Gibbs added that the defendant’s car was travelling at 70mph or more in a 60mph zone, but that witnesses said it was going significantly faster because it braked sharply for a speed camera, hitting the Peugeot 206 and causing a three-vehicle pile-up.
The defendant, who admitted causing death by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing, was sentenced to six years in prison and banned from driving for eight years
Judge Sean Enright told her:
“If you were not sending texts at the time, then you were fiddling with your phone and that is what caused this collision. In my opinion there is not a scrap of remorse. Mobile phone use while driving is a plague on our society.”
Speaking after the sentencing, Mr Johal’s father, Buhupinder, said:
“Even 60 years wouldn’t be enough, but this is some kind of justice. The only thing we can hope is that others will learn from this. People think nothing of it, but using a mobile phone while driving can kill.”
Inspector Bob Turner, who oversaw the investigation for Cambridgeshire Police, said
The defendant had behaved “incredibly foolishly”. “I have never seen anything like it before, it was crass stupidity.”