A DENTIST who mowed down and killed a pedestrian in Pendle while texting on her phone has escaped a jail sentence.
Divorced mother-of-one Kay Nolan, 45, wrote the text – a reply to an employee about a day off – in a lay-by but then pulled out on to a busy A-road and hit her victim seconds after pressing ‘send’. It was a ‘momentary’ error with tragic consequences, Preston Crown Court heard.
Nolan, who was travelling at 50mph, hit the brake in her Honda Jazz and swerved but struck Stuart Mather, 60, who had been crossing the A6068 in Higham, close to his home, while walking his dog.
Mr Mather was thrown into the air and landed in the carriageway where he was run over by a second car.
Nolan herself desperately gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation before her victim was airlifted to the Royal Blackburn Hospital. Mr Mather was pronounced dead on arrival. The dog also died.
Nolan was on her way home to Thornton-in-Craven, near Skipton, from her practice in Padiham, on June 6, last year.
Earlier in court, Bob Elias, prosecuting, said Nolan had stopped in the lay-by on the busy by-pass to answer a text from an employee about a day off. But after writing the words, she set off before pressing ‘send’.
She also deleted two text messages shortly after the crash and refused to answer questions about her use of her phone when later questioned by police.
She sobbed as she stood in the dock awaiting sentence after admitting causing death by careless driving at an earlier hearing.
Nolan, who had never had a point on her driving licence before, now suffers from a post-traumatic stress disorder and is having counselling, her lawyer told the court.
Mr Justice Singh said he could spare the defendant jail mainly on the basis that if she went into custody there was no-one to care for her elderly mother and her 12-year-old daughter.
He gave Nolan a 40-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months.
She must also do 150 hours community service, go on a victim awareness course and keep a 7am to 7pm curfew.
Outside court, Alex Mather, the victim's son, said: “I think, based on the information provided to the judge, he ended up with what was an acceptable judgment.
“But I don't think it is ever going to be enough.
“All too often in this day and age people are too interested in their mobile phones. But you can wait or pull over. Just think about what you are doing, think about the consequences.”