Death crash driver is spared jail

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A ROAD safety charity has criticised 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 between Sheffield and Barnsley.

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

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, of Monk Bretton, Barnsley, died in hospital.

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

Madigan, who admitted causing death by careless driving, was 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.”

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.

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.”

Allan Armbrister, defending, said Madigan, of Thorncliffe Way, Tankersley, felt “remorse and sorrow” and hoped Mr Selwood’s family would 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 months, 220 hours of unpaid community work and was banned from driving for three years.