Derbyshire Mum Jailed After "Catastrophic" Crash

7 August 2018, 16:12

Fatal crash Derbyshire

A mother of two who killed her fiance and six-year-old daughter in a car crash in Derbyshire has been jailed for two years.

Carly Tomlinson was almost double the drink drive limit after she had drunk two pints of lager and lime and three vodka and cokes before her blue Fiat Panda smashed into a stone wall in Belper, Derbyshire, in the early hours of Sunday April 30 last year.

The 24-year-old's fiance James Watson, 28, and their daughter, Ruby Watson, were passengers in the car, which mounted the kerb before colliding with a telegraph pole on Kilbourne Road at 1.25am.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene while Tomlinson suffered a broken back, pelvis and ribs.

Nottingham Crown Court heard how Tomlinson had been travelling at 43mph in a 30mph zone on the two-mile journey back to her home from the Marehay Miners Welfare Club.

Her young daughter was also "not properly secured" in her booster seat and Mr Watson was not wearing a seat belt at all.

The prosecution said "she simply had a very poor recollection of events that morning" while she was interviewed by officers in the months following the crash.

At a previous hearing on June 22, Tomlinson, of Nottingham Road, Belper, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by careless driving while unfit through drink.

As well as her prison term, she was disqualified from driving for four years.

Judge Gregory Dickinson QC told the former cleaner and police support worker: "In any view, this case is both serious and tragic.

"No-one here knows why you drove. You should not have been driving. You knew that you must have had too much to drink.

"I suspect the physical injury is nothing compared to the emotional damage you have done to yourself."

The judge added: "You were driving well over the speed limit in a residential area. The fact is you simply failed to slow down.

"You took a risk driving while over the limit and driving too fast. You could have killed anyone.

"You killed your own child and your fiance - people that you loved and people that loved you. You will be haunted by this for the rest of your life."

Mr Watson's mother Janine Hitchcock said she could not attend court because she was "so angry" with "what she has done to my family".

In a victim impact statement read to the court by prosecutor Alex Wolfson, the 51-year-old said: "(Tomlinson) needs to pay for all the heartbreak she has done.

"Last year, on April 30, my son and granddaughter were killed in a crash caused by Carly Tomlinson. I am not supportive, I think she should pay for her actions.

"(Ruby) was killed by the actions of her mother. It makes me very angry that she made the decision to drink-drive."

She added: "My family has been completely torn apart and I feel awful like I can't breathe.

"I feel so strongly that she should be punished."

Defending Tomlinson, Raglan Ashton said she had received numerous counselling sessions in order to come to terms with the loss of her fiance and daughter.

He said: "She understands the level of resentment towards her.

"She says, 'I will never forgive myself and not a day goes by when I don't think of James and Ruby' and, given the chance, she would put herself in their place."