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Suspended sentence for driver who killed cyclist on Isle of Man upheld following appeal

Attorney General’s Chambers had considered sentence ‘unduly lenient’

An appeal against the sentence imposed on an Isle of Man woman who killed a cyclist has been unsuccessful. In July, 63-year-old Linda Thompson received an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after admitting to causing the death of Kathryn Burge by careless driving.

Manx Radio reports that the Attorney General's Chambers appealed on the basis that the original sentence was 'unduly lenient'. However, the defence successfully argued that her early guilty pleas and genuine remorse meant that the sentence imposed was appropriate.

Burge, from Stafford, died at the scene after being hit from behind by Thompson's Range Rover on Main Road, Kirk Michael, on August 4, 2014.

Several witnesses said Thompson, who had her one-year-old granddaughter in the car, had been driving erratically at times between Douglas and Kirk Michael, and to a standard that was described as ‘very poor’.

As well as the suspended sentence, Thompson was also banned from driving for three years and had her licence revoked. A probation report said that her ‘fragile’ mental health would deteriorate in prison and that custody would interfere with her getting the treatment she needed.

Deemster Alastair Montgomerie said: “If it had been dangerous driving, I would not have suspended the sentence.”

IOM Today reports that Thompson was also sentenced to eight months custody, suspended for two years, for providing a false statement to police in relation to a separate incident and one month, suspended for two years, for making a false statement in a legal aid application.

Burge was described as a "talented athlete" who had represented Great Britain in triathlon. Her partner, Sean McLachlan, now campaigns for new laws on minimum overtaking distances via the Safe Cycling IOM website.

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