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Sentencing – fatal collision, Lincoln

The driver of a private hire vehicle has been given a two-year custodial sentence and a six-year driving ban after admitting offences that caused the death of a woman and seriously injured another.  

Ian Penman, aged 67, of Washdyke Lane, Nettleham, was handed the sentence after admitting causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury while dangerous driving.  His actions caused the death of Wendy Short and seriously injured her friend.  

The collision happened at 3.22 pm on Tuesday 23rd July last year on the A46 between Doddington Road roundabout and Skellingthorpe Road roundabout.  The collision caused the death of Wendy Short, aged 79 and seriously injured her friend, a woman in her seventies, both from Lincoln.  Wendy died at the scene. The injured woman was taken to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham with very serious injuries. 

The subsequent police investigation found that Penman was using his mobile phone at the time of the collision.  He was holding the phone to his left ear with his left hand.

He had pleaded guilty to  the offences at Lincoln Crown Court on 6th May.  

PC Godfrey Barlow, Forensic Collision Investigator, Lincolnshire Police said: “Research has shown that a person’s driving will be worse when on the phone compared to when they are not.  Drivers will spend less time looking at the road ahead, less attention is given to checking the rear view mirror, vehicle instruments or the road conditions when using either a hand held or hand free mobile phone.

"It is illegal to hold a mobile phone while driving or riding and hands free calls are still a real distraction. It is far safer not to use any mobile phone; divert calls to your voicemail facility.

"Drivers have a responsibility to callers not to answer the phone while they are driving.  Let your voicemail take messages and listen to them when it is safe and lawful to do so.”

The court heard how the collision took place at 3.22pm on 23rd July last year. Penman, a private hire licence holder, had collected Wendy Short and her friend from a garden centre in South Hykeham and was travelling to the north of Lincoln.  Both passengers were sat in the back of the car. Penman was using his phone as he drove towards Skellingthorpe Road roundabout where traffic was queuing. He collided with the rear of a DAF skip lorry, fatally injuring Ms Short, injuring her friend, and  himself. Penman was taken to Queen’s Medical Centre. 

The subsequent police investigation found a call was accepted by Ian Penman at 3.22 pm and lasted 39 seconds, ending at 3.23 pm.  Tachograph evidence, from the DAF skip lorry, showed the time of the impact was 3.22 pm and confirms the call was ongoing at the time the Seat collided with the lorry. 

The sentencing took place via video link at Lincoln Crown Court.  

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12 Jan 21 5:06 PM

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