A MAN who caused the death of his sister’s partner in a head-on car crash after he “inexplicably” drove head-on into a pick-up truck has been allowed to walk free from court.
Relatives of Matthew Morris reacted with anger at the sentence given to Stephen Lancashire after hearing how he caused the fatal collision just three months after being given a driving ban for speeding.
The father-of-three was killed instantly after Lancashire broke the speed limit and veered onto the wrong side of the carriageway into the path of the oncoming vehicle on Beeston Road, Beeston, on June 15 2011.
Lancashire suffered major head injuries and almost lost his life in the smash.
Four months after the incident Lancashire refused to allow police permission to test a blood sample taken from him immediately after the smash.
Lancashire, 25, of Granamthorpe, Bramley, was given a 15-month sentence, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving and failing to give permission for a laboratory test of a specimen.
Judge Scott Wolstenholme told Lancashire he was sparing him prison because there was little prospect of him ever driving or working again and he is likely to need care for the rest of his life as a result of his injuries.
He said: “This offence has had truly awful consequences. A man has needlessly lost his life and the lives of his close family members have been devastated.”
Mr Morris’s mother, Georgina Moriarty and brother, Kevin Smith, blasted the sentence as too lenient.
Mr Smith said: “He should not have been behind the wheel in the first place because of the speeding conviction.
“We do not think he has shown any remorse. He should have gone to prison for a long time.”Mrs Moriarty said: “He has everything to live for and has just become a father. Life is looking good for him despite what he has done. We will never see Matthew again and his children have lost their father.”
Victoria Lancashire, Matthew’s partner and Lancashire’s sister, told the YEP she believed that justice had been done.
She said: “No punishment or prison sentence is ever going to bring Matthew back. You can see just by looking at Stephen what it has done to him.
“He will have to live with what he has done for ever. He has been punished enough.”