Woman receives suspended prison sentence after death crash in Bury St Edmunds

Court news
Court news
Have your say

A woman who pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving has been given a six month prison sentence suspended for 12 months.

Deborah Lumley-Holmes, 53, of Cannon Street, Bury St Edmunds had been at the wheel of a Nissan Micra car when it struck a bicycle being ridden by

Julian Evans of Woodland Close, Risby, who suffered a serious head injury and died in hospital the next day.

Lumley-Holmes was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid community work.

The court heard that the collision happened in Newmarket Road, Risby on October 7 2012 as Lumley-Holmes was returning to Bury St Edmunds after taking an elderly woman with dementia on a shopping trip to Newmarket.

Prosecutor Robert Sadd said that she should have seen Mr Evans who was cycling on a straight stretch of road on a dry, sunny day with clear visibility.

“Anyone could and should have seen the cyclist. There is no explanation other than it was driving in such a way that led to his death.”

After the impact which shattered the windscreen of the car Lumley-Holmes did not stop for another 90 metres and no explanation had been given as to why, said Mr Sadd.

Analysis by police experts had resulted in a conclusion that Lumley-Holmes would have had a clear view of the road ahead before the collision for at least 200 metres.

Mr Evans, who worked as a regional sales manager for a Yorkshire-based abrasives company, left a widow and one stepdaughter. The court heard that

in statements family members said they had been ‘devastated’ by his death.

Defending, Michael Proctor said that Lumley Holmes was a vulnerable defendant who had suffered an abusive childhood, her teenage years in care and been diagnosed with a personality disorder.

As a result of the collision Lumley-Holmes had been ‘devastated and horrified’ and suffered a form of post traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Proctor said: “For whatever reason Miss Lumley-Holmes cannot recollect the incident very clearly. She doesn’t recall seeing Mr Evans at all before the collision.”

The court heard that Lumley-Holmes, a practising Christian, had for many years made a important contribution to society through charity work, volunteering for the St Nicholas Hospice.

Judge John Holt said the death of Mr Evans had been a tragedy for all involved, including Lumley-Holmes who had made a ‘remarkable contribution’ to the community through charity work.

Lumley-Holmes was disqualified from driving for 12 months and told she will remain under Probation Service supervision for the next year. She was also ordered to attend a women’s emotional wellbeing course.