January 29, 2023

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Classic car driver who killed grandmother in ‘horrific’ crash sentenced at court

David Knight leaves Oxford Magistrates’ Court docket and, inset, a spouse and children picture of Sheila Shirley with her daughter Kara Terry (Image: Oxford Mail, Family members Handout)

A driver who killed a a great deal-loved grandmother in a ‘horrific’ crash close to Faringdon was spared an immediate jail term.

Sitting behind thick glass in the dock of courtroom one particular at Oxford Crown Courtroom on Thursday, David Knight, 56, stared straight in advance of him as victim Sheila Shirley’s daughter said from the witness box: “He caused my fantastic, harmless mum to be killed in the most horrific way.”

Kara Terry stated: “My mum didn’t die, she was killed. She should not be dead, she should really be listed here.” She included that motorists had a ‘legal and ethical duty’ to make sure the security of other street customers.

Her two sons had been robbed of their only grandmother, she said. “I skip her. I miss her so substantially. Just about every hour of each day she is never ever significantly from my ideas.”

Knight apologised to his victim’s household in a letter read to the court by his advocate.

“I under no circumstances set out that day to cause any one any damage, but in that second brought about the reduction of Mrs Shirley’s everyday living and considerably sorrow to her relatives and mates. And I have to live with the reality for the rest of my life,” he claimed.

“I am just so, so sorry and wish I could flip again time to take a unique route and then Mrs Shirley would continue to be alive but sadly that can not be and I reside with that.”

Statements from Mrs Shirley’s brother-in-regulation, Raymond Shirley, and her daughter-in-regulation, Hayley Shirley, explained the retired exclusive educational requirements instructor as the matriarch of the relatives and a lot younger than her 72 decades.

Mr Shirley mentioned she was ‘taken too soon’, when her daughter-in-law compared her loss to ‘taking absent daylight’.

Prosecutor Mary Jacobson reported Knight was driving a 1950s traditional Ford Mercury car on the A417 around Stanford in the Vale on July 22, 2021.

The Mercury, a left-hand push vehicle said to have had a ‘vagueness’ in its steering, was noticed ‘drifting’ across the central white line of the highway.

He crossed into the path of an oncoming lorry, leading to the HGV to veer throughout the highway and collide with a Mercedes being driven by victim Mrs Shirley.

The Mercedes was pushed backwards and underneath the lorry. Mrs Shirley would have died promptly, the courtroom listened to.

Knight endured a compact reduce to his head in the crash, though the lorry driver obtained slight accidents.

Oxford Mail: Sheila Shirley and daughter Kara Terry

Oxford Mail: Sheila Shirley and daughter Kara Terry

Sheila Shirley and daughter Kara Terry (Impression: Family members Handout)

Mercury driver Knight instructed a different motorist at the scene that he had been wanting at his satellite navigation method at the time of the crash.

He then advised a firefighter that he was ‘swatting a wasp or bee’, explained to an ambulance crew that he experienced not been on the incorrect side of the street, then explained to a police constable there had ‘been a lorry’ and ‘it experienced happened quickly’.

Afterwards interviewed by law enforcement, the self-used window cleaner gave a geared up assertion denying he was at fault and blaming the lorry driver.

On Thursday afternoon, the crown court read he no longer stood by that explanation, owning study an expert’s collision report that set the cause of the crash down to his ‘failing to regulate his motor vehicle and veering into oncoming visitors and inattention or distraction on the section of the defendant’.

Knight, of Blagrove Drive, Wokingham, pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ courtroom to leading to death by careless driving.

Imposing 14 months’ imprisonment suspended for two a long time, Choose Ian Pringle KC said: “I simply cannot dismiss the fact that, driving at 45 to 50mph, to enable your motor vehicle by way of momentary inattention to veer into the reverse carriageway – not absolutely but unquestionably sufficient to induce a collision – was careless.”

Oxford Mail: David Knight leaves Oxford Magistrates' Court in November

Oxford Mail: David Knight leaves Oxford Magistrates’ Court in November

David Knight leaves Oxford Magistrates’ Court in November (Picture: Oxford Mail)

He was banned from driving for 18 months and have to move an extended retest right before he can push all over again.

As component of his suspended sentence, Knight was requested to finish 15 rehabilitation days, 180 several hours of unpaid operate and spend £425 in costs.

This story was composed by Tom Seaward. He joined the crew in 2021 as Oxfordshire’s court and crime reporter.

To get in contact with him e mail: [email protected]

Comply with him on Twitter: @t_seaward