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A 67-year-old man was jailed for two years and given a six-year driving ban after admitting offences that caused the death of Wendy Short and seriously injured her friend.

Ian Penman, of Washdyke Lane in Nettleham, was the driver of a private hire vehicle involved in a crash between a lorry and a Seat car on the A46 between Doddington and Skellingthorpe roundabouts at 3.22pm on Tuesday, July 23 2019.

Wendy Short, 79, died at the scene and her friend, a woman in her seventies and also from Lincoln, was taken to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham with very serious injuries.

The subsequent police investigation found that Penman was using his mobile phone at the time of the collision, which he was holding to his left ear with his left hand.

It found that a call was accepted by Penman at 3.22pm and lasted 39 seconds, ending at 3.23pm. Tachograph evidence, from the DAF skip lorry, showed the time of the impact was 3.22pm and confirms the call was ongoing at the time the Seat collided with the lorry.

The court heard how Penman, a private hire licence holder, had collected the victim and her friend from a garden centre in South Hykeham and was travelling to the north of Lincoln. Both passengers were sat in the back of the car.

Penman was using his phone as he drove towards Skellingthorpe roundabout where traffic was queuing. He collided with the rear of a DAF skip lorry, fatally injuring Ms Short and injuring her friend and himself.

He pleaded guilty to the offences at Lincoln Crown Court on May 6 before sentencing recently took place via video link.

PC Godfrey Barlow, Forensic Collision Investigator at Lincolnshire Police, said: “Research has shown that a person’s driving will be worse when on the phone compared to when they are not.

“Drivers will spend less time looking at the road ahead, less attention is given to checking the rear view mirror, vehicle instruments or the road conditions when using either a hand held or hand free mobile phone.

“It is illegal to hold a mobile phone while driving or riding and hands free calls are still a real distraction. It is far safer not to use any mobile phone; divert calls to your voicemail facility.

“Drivers have a responsibility to callers not to answer the phone while they are driving. Let your voicemail take messages and listen to them when it is safe and lawful to do so.”

Family tribute

“Wendy Short will just be a name to you all reading this, but she was our beautiful, selfless mum. Our best friend, a wife to our late step father Bob, a mother-in-law and a grandmother too.

“My mum was the person we would go to for support and to talk things through, she always gave the best advice.  She was a counsellor to our friends who loved her dearly.  Words cannot describe how we feel no longer being able to speak to mum because she has been taken away from us.

“It is so very hard to believe that mum went out for lunch and shopping with her dear friend, as they did every week, and never returned.  This is our reality now.

“The driver admitted to being on his mobile phone and pleaded guilty to causing the death of mum by dangerous driving.  I ask you to remember her name, Wendy Short, if you think of using your phone when driving, remember her name and the pain and loss we will feel forever. Your call can wait.”

*Lincolnshire Police said there was no photo available of the defendant

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