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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 November 2007, 14:50 GMT
Text death driver's sentence cut
Rachel Begg
Rachel Begg has had her sentence cut by 12 months
A 20-year-old woman driver who texted a friend moments before she crashed and killed a grandmother has had her sentence reduced by 12 months.

Motorist Maureen Waites, 64, from Wellfield Road North, Wingate died near Newcastle Airport in November 2006.

Rachel Begg, of Whinbank, in Ponteland, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was given four years in a Young Offenders' Institution.

The Court of Appeal agreed to a cut the sentence from four to three years.

Lord Justice Laws described the case as "terrible", but said that although what Begg had done was "awful" it had been a momentary "lapse in sense".

"Begg has never shown any remorse or offered any apology to our family
Helen Adams, Mrs Waites' daughter

But the family of Mrs Waites condemned the reduction in the sentence.

Her daughter Helen Adams said: "We as a family are very disappointed that the sentence imposed has been reduced.

"Three years is a paltry sentence and does not reflect the loss of a life taken in such horrific circumstances.

"Begg has never shown any remorse or offered any apology to our family."

The hearing heard how Begg, who was driving a VW Golf, had used her mobile telephone nine times in a 15-minute journey before she smashed into her victim.

Mrs Waites, a hairdresser and mother-of-two, was on her way to pick up her sister from Newcastle Airport when she was killed.

Begg had been driving for 18 months and had no previous convictions or motoring offences, the hearing was told.

A five-year driving ban imposed at the original hearing remains in force.

Teenager bailed over crash death
04 Apr 07 |  England

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