A woman who knocked down and killed a 15-year-old girl outside a West Yorkshire school has avoided a jail sentence.
Imogen Young suffered fatal head injuries after being struck by a Land Rover being driven by Helen McLoughlin, 37, near to the gates of fee-paying Ackworth School, near Pontefract.
The teenager was crossing the road with her mum, Sarah Bentham, on her way to a singing lesson when the tragedy happened at 4.15pm on Monday October 10 last year.
Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday (Sept 5) how McLoughlin was travelling at around only 10mph when she struck Imogen at the junction of Station Road and Pontefract Road.
Witnesses described how McLoughlin may have failed to stop or indicate before turning into the junction - an issue which she continues to deny.
McLoughlin, who was on her way to her son’s school parents’ evening, stopped after the collision and was in shock. She was heard to say: “I didn’t even see her.”
McLoughlin, of Mill Close, Ackworth, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving. Simon Clegg, for McLoughlin, said she had no previous convictions, the vehicle was in good condition and she was not under the influence of drink or drugs at the time of the offence.
He said: “My submission is that this was a terrible and tragic accident and the defendant was guilty of a sort of lapse of concentration or attention that many motorists across the land could commit at any time.”
Judge Simon Hickey made the mother-of-two the subject of a one year community order, ordered her to do 200 hours unpaid work and banned her from driving for two years.
He said: “In my judgment, you are a woman of impeccable character. You, like Imogen’s mother and family, will have to live with this for the rest of your life. You have expressed regret and I accept that remorse is genuine.”
At an earlier hearing, Mrs Bentham, 48, of Upton, near Pontefract, who works as an exams administrator at Ackworth School, said: “We miss her terribly. It leaves a massive hole in your life that you can’t fill. Imogen was amazing.”