Dad spared jail over crash which killed his friend after widow’s plea for leniency

Court news
Court news

A dad-of-three was spared jail this morning over the crash which killed his friend – after his widow asked the judge for leniency.

James Moorehouse, 39, of Crispin Road, Milton Keynes appeared at Aylesbury Crown Court for sentencing today.

Moorehouse was sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court

Moorehouse was sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court

The court heard how on November 3, Moorehouse was driving himself and some friends to work in his van.

As he drove down the Mentmore to Cheddington Road, Moorehouse is thought to have turned too fast into a left-hand turn, losing control of the van and veering into the oncoming traffic.

The van crashed into an oncoming car, and the impact killed Robert Kelly who was travelling in the back of Moorehouse’s van.

After the crash, despite his own serious injuries Moorehouse attempted to help his friend, and passers-by and a nurse stopped to provide first aid.

The court heard how he has been devastated by his involvement in the death of his friend and colleague of seven and-a-half years, and has struggled to come to terms with his guilt after the crash.

Judge Karen Holt said that her decision to suspend a 36-week jail sentence for two years was largely due to an impact statement from Mr Kelly’s widow.

Mrs Kelly paid tribute to Moorehouse’s good character and hardworking family orientated nature in her statement, and asked that the judge spare him jail.

The court also heard that Moorehouse, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, and has shown remorse for his actions throughout the process.

In handing him the suspended sentence, as well as 12 months supervision order, a three-year driving ban and an order in which he must take part in restorative justice programme, Judge Holt said: “Robert Kelly was a hard-working family man, he was loving and known in particular for his kindness and his selfless protective care for his family.

“The sentence from this case does not attempt to rectify the impact of this life lost.”