Page last updated at 14:48 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Jail for grandmother death driver

Jacqueline Stephens. Pic: South West News Service
Jacqueline Stephens was left pinned against a wall by the car

A driver who admitted killing a grandmother who had been taking her grandson for a Christmas Eve stroll has been jailed for four and a-half-years.

Jacqueline Stephens, 61, was hit as she walked along a pavement at Heamoor near Penzance, Cornwall, with four-month-old grandson Luke in a pushchair.

She died at the Royal Cornwall Hospital 25 days after the crash in 2007.

Ashley Bugden, 33, of York Street, Penzance, had admitted causing death by dangerous driving at Truro Crown Court.

'Entirely responsible'

The court was told Bugden's car was mechanically sound, but that he was driving too fast and under the influence of alcohol.

In the accident, the car pinned Mrs Stephens against a wall, causing the injuries from which she later died.

Her grandson was trapped under the car in his pushchair. He survived, even though the car came to rest on top of his buggy. Passers-by came and helped rescue him.

Bugden had been warned by the judge that he faced a lengthy jail term.

His barrister, Sean Brunton, told the court Bugden was "entirely responsible".

Ashley Bugden. Pic: South West News Service
Bugden had been warned he faced a lengthy jail term

Mr Brunton said: "He was going too fast and he was responsible for this horrendous and tragic accident."

He said Bugden, who has a six-month-old son, had "felt wretched for 15 months and will continue to do so".

Passing sentence, Judge Elwen said it was "people who killed people and not cars".

He added: "No sentence could adequately reflect the grief and the anger felt by family and friends".

In a statement, Mrs Stephens' family said: "Today, after having been put through 15 month of suffering, Ashley Bugden has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years.

"No length of sentence will bring Jacqueline back to us, or reflect the suffering and anguish our friends and family have been forced to endure."


Witnesses describe the scene of crash

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Driver admits killing grandmother
23 Mar 09 |  Cornwall

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