Death driver has sentence slashed
PUBLISHED: 15:06 01 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:53 25 August 2010
A DRIVER who struck down and killed a pensioner on a dual carriageway while under the influence of amphetamines has had her sentence cut by a third in London s Appeal Court.
A DRIVER who struck down and killed a pensioner on a dual carriageway while under the influence of amphetamines has had her sentence cut by a third in London's Appeal Court.
Helen Patricia Nunn, 41, of Ditton Fields, Cambridge, was jailed for six years at Cambridge Crown Court last November after she was convicted of causing Donald McCallum's death by dangerous driving when unfit through drugs.
Nunn - whose sentence was cut to four years by Mrs Justice Gloster in London's Appeal Court last Thursday - had taken a substantial amphetamine dose, up to five grams, 24 hours before the tragedy.
Mr McCallum, 76, from Crayford, died after his car broke down on the A11 near Stumps Cross, Cambs, in December 2007, as he stepped out of his vehicle to inspect the damage.
His car was effectively blocking one lane of the dual carriageway, the court heard, but other motorists had seen the obstacle and managed to avoid collision.
However, Nunn failed to spot Mr McCallum until it was too late, smashing into both the motorist and his car.
Nunn had a regular amphetamine habit at the time and the drug was still infiltrating her system when tested after the accident.
The trial judge said a strong sentence was needed to send out a warning to those prepared to drive after consuming drugs - even if some time had elapsed since they had done so.
Mrs Justice Gloster, sitting with Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Wilkie, said Nunn was clearly "mortified" by her actions and was now intent on remaining drugs-free.
The judge concluded that the six-year sentence took too much account of the drugs consumed - given that Nunn had taken the amphetamine sulphate over 24 hours before the crash.
Nunn was also a woman of previous good character and her driving fell into the category of "momentary inattention", said the judge, cutting her jail term to four years.