Liam Rosney, the pick-up driver who hit and killed Carol Boardman while distracted by his phone in July 2016, has been sentenced to 30 weeks in prison for causing her death by careless driving. Boardman was the mother of former pro rider turned cycling campaigner Chris Boardman, who this week said he would like to see longer driving bans rather than “big custodial sentences” for such crimes.
Rosney, 33, faced a charge of causing death by dangerous driving but later admitted the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving.
He and his wife Victoria were cleared of attempting to pervert the course of justice last year, after it was alleged they had deleted records from their mobile phones in the wake of Boardman’s death.
Rosney and his wife exchanged several phone calls in the run-up to the crash – the last one terminated an estimated four seconds before the collision.
The BBC reports how Matthew Curtis, prosecuting, said that the phone was being used on speaker mode, not requiring the defendant to handle the phone as he was talking, “but plainly to accept or reject or end calls.”
Curtis added that Rosney, “did not see Mrs Boardman and first realised he may have collided with her when his vehicle was physically riding over Mrs Boardman's body.”
Oliver Jarvis, mitigating, said Rosney did not "want to make any excuses for his behaviour".
He told the court: "He says that he has destroyed the lives of two families and therefore nothing I say will seek to undermine that guilty plea."
He added that Rosney had a clean licence before the crash and was driving at an appropriate speed. He said if Boardman had not fallen from her bike, Rosney would not have hit her.
He said: "Mrs Boardman entered the bend over the give way lines when the defendant had priority and was already on the roundabout."
Sentencing, Judge Rhys Rowlands said: “This was an accident which could have easily been prevented and your contribution to that accident is significant in as much as you were distracted, the distraction being as a result of you using your mobile phone before the actual collision.”
Speaking before Rosney was sentenced, Chris Boardman gave his thoughts on such crimes, telling the Press Association that, “the devastation behind carelessness is just unbelievable.”
He said: "We don't treat crime committed in cars as serious crime, so somebody can be careless and crush somebody else to death and it's classed as careless."
Boardman insisted he does not want to see “big custodial sentences” for people convicted of driving offences.
“I would like to see more driving bans,” he said. “Driving is a privilege, so I don’t want those people who commit crime – and that’s what this is – become a burden on society. I’d just like them not to be able to do that to anybody else ever again.”
He added: “What I would like to see – and I think what we would all like to see – is sentencing to reflect the crime. ‘I’m going to take away your right to drive. For good. You lost that privilege. You chose to be careless and I’m taking it away.’”