Driver jailed for causing death of bride-to-be

William Tomlinson. NNL-171003-162806005
William Tomlinson. NNL-171003-162806005

A Kilsby man’s “aggressive and impatient” overtaking manoeuvre caused the death of a bride-to-be just weeks before her big day.

William Tomlinson, 59, of The Banks, was driving a Ford Mondeo on the A46 Newark Bypass on May 22, 2015, when he suddenly pulled out from behind the Vauxhall Insignia travelling in front of him when exiting Farndon roundabout.

Two-thirds of his car crossed into the oncoming lane, causing Jessica Wallace – travelling in the opposite direction at a closing speed of 100mph – to swerve and lose control of her vehicle.

She was killed instantly when her Ford Focus ploughed into a lorry travelling behind Mr Tomlinson.

She was just 10 weeks away from her wedding day to fiance Christopher Evans.

Tomlinson was found guilty of causing death by careless driving at Nottingham Crown Court.

The jury acquitted Tomlinson of the more serious charge of death by dangerous driving.

Sentencing Tomlinson to a year in jail, Judge Adrienne Lucking said no custodial term could bring back a loved one.

Part of Tomlinson’s defence was that Miss Wallace’s decision to steer left sharply on seeing Tomlinson’s car was an “over-reaction”.

But this was dismissed by the judge, who said she found this line of defence “unattractive.”

Sarah Gaunt, prosecuting, summarised the effect Miss Wallace’s death had had on her fiance.

She said: “He is still unable to stop the tears.

“He was unable to say goodbye, which he found so cruel. It was particularly traumatic,” ahe added.

Though the judge said Tomlinson had shown no remorse throughout his trial, she accepted that he has since come to regret his actions.

Tom Gent, mitigating, said: “He has expressed this to me and to his probation officer. He is absolutely clear now he made a terrible error.”

Tomlinson was also banned from driving for four-and-a-half years and will have to retake his test.