A MOTHER wept in court as she was given a 40-week suspended prison sentence for causing the death of a popular pub landlord through careless driving.
Judge John Dowse saved Alyson Cammish, 47, from jail after a plea for leniency because she too had suffered terrible injuries in a case which had devastated two families.
Philip Cain, who ran the Beeswing pub on the Hull Road in York, died after colliding with Mrs Cammish in a car accident last year.
The case made national headlines over a rare ruling allowing Mr Cain’s ashes to be taken into Hull Crown Court.
Mum-of-three Julia Cain, 52, was given approval to carry her husband’s urn in to the public court building before she witnessed Alyson Cammish, 47, plead guilty last month.
She returned for the sentencing hearing on Friday with her family and the ashes ban relaxed, but this time did not sit with his urn in court.
She too wept as the court heard the judge say how every motorist probably commits a careless act every day but not all resulted in accidents.
The fatal impact happened on the A166 Driffield to York road, near Fridaythorpe, at about 5pm on 5 February last year.
Mrs Cammish, of Full Sutton Airfield, had been on the wrong side of the road travelling in the opposite direction. She had pleaded guilty to the offence of causing death by careless driving.
The court heard that 66-year-old Mr Cain was on his way home and Mrs Cammish was travelling from picking up her four-year-old son from school in Scarborough in the opposite direction.
Mrs Cammish rounded a gradual corner in the road on Garrowby Hill. She was travelling on the wrong side of the road towards a dip, and Mr Cain had no time to react.
Emergency services were quickly at the scene. Mr Cain was still alive but trapped in his car.
Crown barrister Nicholas Lumbley said he was conscious and asking to call his wife. Mr Cain was taken to hospital where he later died.
Defending barrister Peter Johnson said: “Mrs Cammish wishes to deliver her heart-felt and profound apologies to Mrs Cain. She is a well-meaning, decent person with a conscience. She is well aware she has caused a terrible and deep void in the heart of that family.
‘‘Her regret is she has no recollection of the incident at all. Not only was her son injured. She suffered a fracture to her facial jaw and three ribs. She was in hospital for a week, and then re-admitted for five days. She still has problems with her vision. She does not seek sympathy for herself. She feels genuine remorse for Mr Cain’s family.”
He said she was now living temporarily with a relative and was eventually hoping to rebuild her life re-painting and refurbishing light aircraft.
Judge John Dowse said: “It is one of the most difficult cases to sentence. The lives of two good families have been destroyed by a single accident. Philip Cain was driving perfectly properly doing nothing wrong.
‘‘He appears to be a warm, sociable and loving man adored by those around him. As a result of the accident he died two hours later in hospital. His wife is in court. She can make no sense of what has happened. Her life is wrecked and she can see no future for herself and his family is destroyed.”
He told Alyson Cammish she was normally a good driver, but she had caused Mr Cain’s death by careless driving on the wrong side of the road.
He added: “It was momentary inattention. Each one of us has probably committed acts of carelessness in a car probably every day. It was such an offence that led you on to the wrong side of the road.
“No orders of mine can restore to her the life of Mr Cain, nor to his family.”
Judge Dowse said in addition to the 40-week suspended sentence she should be given a 12-month supervision order, disqualified from driving for 18 months and ordered to take a re-test.