Jail sentence cut for lorry driver who caused car pile-up

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A LORRY driver from Stowmarket who caused a dual-carriageway crash has had his prison sentence cut at the Court of Appeal.

Nicholas Raynham, 44, of Woolmers Close, was jailed for 16 months by Stafford Crown Court in December after pleading guilty to dangerous driving.

Lorry driver Raynham lost concentration on the A38, in Staffordshire, in December 2009, causing a pile-up which injured several victims, and left one woman with life-changing injuries.

But on Friday, Raynham had his 16-month jail term cut to 12 months by top judges at the Court of Appeal.

Judge David Radford, sitting with Mr Justice Roderick Evans, told the London court how Raynham was unable to explain how he had caused the smash.

Raynham, who suffered rib injuries in the accident, could not remember much of the crash, but accepted that he must have lost concentration at the wheel.

Traffic slowed in front of him on the A38, south of Burton-on-Trent, but he failed to brake in time and ploughed into the back of another car, which triggered a pile-up involving multiple cars.

Dawn Hill, 51, from Tamworth, was on her way to hospital for chemotherapy when her husband’s car was shunted underneath the trailer of another lorry.

Mrs Hill suffered ‘life-changing’ injury, said Judge Radford. She had to have a metal plate inserted in her skull, and may suffer memory problems.

“The consequences of this driving were of the utmost severity to a number of other people, not least the grievous effect to the lives of the Hill family,” said Judge Radford.

Raynham’s lawyers argued that the 16-month term, close to the two-year maximum for the offence, was much too severe and asked the judges to cut it or grant his release.

Judge Radford said that despite the seriousness of the offence and its effect, the 16-month term was too long and would be cut to 12 months.