05 Oct 2022

Suspended jail sentence and driving ban for driver who caused death of his mother in collision

A 48-years-old man whose driving actions caused the death of his 82-years-old mother and the death of an unborn child was today suspended jail sentence and banned from driving for four years. Noel Young, a part time digger driver from Carraloan Road, Magherafelt, Co Derry, pleaded guilty at Derru Crown Court to causing the death of his mother, Vera Young, by driving without due care and attention. He also pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm by careless driving to two passengers in the car which he crashed into. One of the passengers, Warunee Doherty, who was 19 weeks pregnant, lost her unborn baby due to the injuries she received. The accident occurred at the junction of the Glenshane Road and Lurgangoose Road between Magherfelt and Dungiven in August 2015. The court heard the accident occurred just two months after the defendant had undergone the latest in a number of neurological surgical procedures for a brain tumour. His first operation had been in 2007. Judge Babington said the current guidelines suggested that as a result of the surgery the defendant would not have been allowed to drive for one year after the operation. "Therefore he would not have been allowed to drive on the date of this accident," he said. Judge Babington said the defendant, who was accompanied by an appropriate adult during his police interviews following the crash, remembered nothing about the accident which had an impact of 62 mph. Judge Babington added: "It is accepted that he should have been warned not to drive following the surgery two months before the accident and that he should have been told to contact the DVLNI. It seems he was not told anything and neither were any of his relatives." He said he had to give consideration to the defendant's ongoing and serious medical issues at the time of the accident in relation to the sentencing process. "This is an exceptionally difficult case. The defendant's mother has died. Two other people suffered life changing injuries and an unborn baby died. The defendant is not a well man physically and he should not have been on the road, but he was but that was not his fault in any way," Judge Babington said. He then imposed the six month suspended sentence and disqualified the defendant from driving for four years.

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