Death crash driver's jail term under review
PUBLISHED: 15:50 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:05 12 August 2010
CHIEF legal advisers have been asked to
CHIEF legal advisers have been asked to consider whether a four year sentence handed to a man who killed a mother-of-two after "mowing her down" was too lenient.
A request was lodged with the Attorney General to investigate the jail sentence given to insurance agent Paul Clements who knocked down Cheryl McGoldrick, 26, on Beckenham High Street on January 25.
On May 23, Clements was given a four year jail term for causing death by dangerous driving at Croydon Crown Court after he was found to have been speeding at 53mph while being more than twice the legal drink drive limit.
Mrs McGoldrick, of Oakwood Avenue, Beckenham, was out with her sisters when Clements, 28, of Perth Road, Beckenham crashed in to her outside the Box Bar, hurling her in to the air.
Her sister Stephanie Barnett said she was "thrown like a rag doll".
Sentencing him, Judge Warwick McKinnon told Clements: "You literally mowed her down. You must have known you were unfit to drive. This was utter criminal culpability."
The sentence outraged the family so much Mrs McGoldrick's brother, Stephen McGoldrick hurled a glass carafe at Clements across the court room, resulting in him later being given a one month suspended sentence for contempt of court.
Asked whether it was the McGoldrick family who requested an investigation in to Clements' sentence, an Attorney General spokesman, said: "We can not tell you for confidentiality reasons who asked us to look at it.
"We can confirm that the Attorney General has been asked to investigate whether to refer the case to the Court of Appeal for being unduly lenient."
A spokesman from road safety organisation, RoadPeace, said: "No prison sentence can bring this mother back but drivers must learn that that they are in charge of a lethal weapon and they will be held accountable for their actions."
Under the new Sentencing Guidelines that are expected to be introduced this summer, the most serious cases of causing death by dangerous driving will face a starting custodial point of eight years imprisonment.