Sleaford

Driver who caused double fatal crash on A15 near Sleaford jailed

A motorist strayed onto the wrong side of the road causing a head-on collision which left two people dead and another paralysed for life, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Andrew Robinson was driving with his partner Barbara Tunnicliffe, 59, along the A15 heading towards Lincoln when his Vauxall Astra collided with an oncoming car at Roxholm between Leasingham and Cranwell.

The other driver, retired accountant Roger Burman, 63, from Navenby, died as a result of the collision and Mr Burman’s partner Jacqueline Gilmour suffered serious injuries which have left her paralysed from the neck downwards.

Ms Gilmour is now wheelchair-bound and spent six months in hospital following the collision. At the time of the collision the couple were preparing for their wedding which was due to take place in June 2016.

Barbara Tunnicliffe was also killed in the collision which occurred on the morning of March 28, 2016.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, told a jury that Robinson was driving too close to the vehicle in front of him and at the time of the collision his car was 1.4 metres into the wrong carriageway.

“The defendant drove his car without due care and attention and as a result he is directly responsible for the deaths of two people.

“The weather conditions were poor. It was raining heavily that morning and there were high winds.

“The road was in a good state of repair but there was standing water on both sides of the carriageway.

“A head-on collision occurred on the Sleaford-bound carriageway. There was no good reason for the defendant to be driving in that carriageway. The prosecution say the defendant’s driving fell below what was expected of a careful and competent driver.

“Mr Burman was confronted by a car heading towards him on the wrong side of the road. He was unable to avoid a collision. There is no evidence that he was in any way responsible for the collision.

“The heavy rain, high winds and standing water may have contributed but the cause of the collision was the manner of the defendant’s driving.”

Robinson, 64, of Burton Road, Heckington, denied two charges of causing death by careless driving as a result of the collision on March 28, 2016.

He was found guilty by the jury following a trial. He was jailed for two years and banned from driving for four years.

Robinson, who has no recollection of the collision, did not give evidence but claimed through his barrister that the weather conditions may have been the reason for his car ending up on the wrong side of the road.

Marcus Kraehling-Smith, in mitigation, said that Robinson regretted what happened and urged that he be spared an immediate jail sentence.

“He made an error. The results of that error have been catastrophic. He himself was seriously injured and he spent six weeks in hospital in a coma. His partner was killed.

“Prior to this he had no previous convictions or any driving convictions.”

Judge Simon Hirst, passing sentence, told Robinson “You chose to drive too close to the rear of the car in front.

“The circumstances of the weather meant that driving that close was plainly careless because of the danger of not being able to stop.

“Either you tried to overtake or were not driving carefully enough or were distracted.

“The evidence against you was utterly overwhelming.

“There is, in my judgement, no evidence of remorse from you. Plainly this offence is so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence can be passed.”