A Middlesbrough motorist has been jailed for eight years and banned from driving for ten years following her release after she admitted causing a cyclist’s death by careless driving while over the legal alcohol limit. The court heard it was the fourth time Shelleen Wardle had been prosecuted for drink driving in the last 13 years.
The Northern Echo reports that 17-year-old charity worker Jordan Seddon died in hospital after he was hit by Wardle’s Fiat Punto on Cargo Fleet Lane in Middlesbrough on September 3.
Weeks before the collision, Seddon had agreed to donate his organs, a decision that is said to have saved six lives.
Prosecutor Harry Hadfield told Teesside Crown Court that Wardle had veered into a cycle lane at the side of the A171 before the collision.
Witnesses said that immediately after the crash, she said: "He was swerving all over the road. I’m fucking off."
A police officer who had been called by passers-by pulled Wardle over. Upon her arrest, she was found to have 91 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of her breath – well above the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.
Lead investigator, Inspector Harry Simpson, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “This was Shelleen Wardle’s fourth conviction for a drink-driving related offence. She has shown arrogance and ignorance in continuing to offend in this way, which has tragically resulted in the death of a young boy who had his whole life ahead of him.
“This case is another example of the stark and sad reality of what can happen if a driver gets behind the wheel whilst intoxicated. Our thoughts remain with Jordan’s family and friends at this difficult time.”
Sentencing Wardle, Judge Sean Morris said: "You are a danger to to the public behind a car wheel. You will be off the roads for a very long time, indeed."
Yesterday Cycling UK called for longer and lifetime driving disqualifications after a London property developer was jailed for two years and three months and banned from driving for three years for deliberately running over a cyclist in a road rage incident.
Immediately after the incident, Clifford Harper got out of his vehicle and told the victim: “I will run you over again if I have to.”