Essex

Jane Mitchinson horse rider death driver sentenced

A driver who ran over and killed a horse rider after being distracted by the sun has been given a suspended jail sentence and a three-year driving ban.

Jane Mitchinson, 63, and a friend were thrown from their horses after Hugh Boyle's van struck them in Pilgrims Hatch, Essex, on 16 January 2011.

She died instantly and the horses were put down, Basildon Crown Court heard.

Boyle, 52, of Fox Hatch, Kelvedon Hatch, admitted causing death by careless driving.

He was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, a 300-hour community service order and the driving disqualification on Thursday.

Mrs Mitchinson, of Brentwood, had a long-term partner and daughter.

Her friend escaped serious injury.

Speaking after the case, Essex Police said Mr Boyle did not adjust his driving sufficiently to compensate for the bright sunlight at the time, and did not see the two horses in the road.

Insp Keith Whiting said: "This case shows drivers must always have the highest level of concentration.

"The consequences of not taking care are massive.

"Our thoughts are with Mrs Mitchinson's family who live with their loss and I'm sure Mr Boyle lives with the thought of taking a person's life.

"I hope others will also learn and prevent such unnecessary deaths occurring in the future."

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