A MOTHER wept in court as she was given a 40-week suspended prison sentence for inattention which caused the death by careless driving of popular pub landlord Philip Cain.
Hull Crown Court 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 crushed two families.
The fatal impact happened on the A166 Driffield to York road, near Fridaythorpe, at about 5pm on Feb 5 last year.
Cammish, of Full Sutton Airfield, Pocklington, had been on the wrong side of the road and travelling in the opposite direction. She admitted causing death by careless driving.
Crown barrister Nicholas Lumbley said: “Philip Cain was 66 when he was killed. He was a popular and respected man and at the time of his death had been the licensee of the Beeswing Pub in Hull Road, York, for 20 years. He was not a man to drink alcohol at work. His personal circumstances were happy.
“He had been married for six years. He was living with his wife in Mill Falls, Driffield. He had a son from an earlier marriage. He had been intending to leave the licensing trade and retire. He planned to tell his wife that on a holiday, which they had been planning for some time.”
“He was said to be a very good and careful driver.”
He said 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 Garowby Hill. She was travelling on the wrong side of the road towards a dip. Mr Cain had no time to react. Emergency services were quickly to the scene. Mr Cain was still alive but trapped in his car. He said: “Who came at me like that? He was asking to talk to his wife. He was conscious and asking to call his wife. He was in pain. Mr Cain was taken to hospital he later died. There was nothing to be done.”
Barrister Peter Johnson, mitigating, said: “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 Cains family.”
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.
“You too were seriously injured in the accident. These injuries included to the face, fractured ribs and punctured lung which required hospital treatment. Your son was also in the car and was also injured.
“As a result of the accident you lost everything you had. You lost your work, your personal relationship and you are homeless. But you are still alive. Throughout this hearing you have been in tears. It seems to me your life has been crushed, but you do have a life. There is no doubt this has had a profound effect on Mrs Cain.”
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.
Speaking outside court Sgt Rob Mazingham of the Driffield traffic section said: “Mrs Cain is too upset to comment today. “It was a difficult case to sentence. It was driver error in that she ended up on the wrong side of the road. We think it is an appropriate sentence given what we know.”