Lincolnshire crash death driver's sentence cut

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Donna Wells
Image caption,
Donna Wells died when Pitcher's car left the road and hit a tree

A Lincoln man convicted of causing the death of his passenger in a car crash has had his sentence reduced on appeal.

Lucas Pitcher was jailed in December after admitting causing 31-year-old Donna Wells' death by careless driving.

The 23-year-old lost control of his Peugeot 307 and hit a tree on Somerton Gate Lane in Waddington, near Lincoln, in December 2009.

On Thursday, judges at London's Appeal Court cut his jail term from 12 months to eight months.

Pitcher, who worked with Ms Wells in the NHS, was giving her a lift when his office car span off the road, his trial last year at Lincoln Crown Court heard.

The prosecution claimed he was paying insufficient attention as the car approached a crest in the road.

Pitcher, of St Helens Avenue, also suffered serious injuries in the crash, including head wounds and fractures.

The Appeal Court was told the stretch of Somerton Gate Lane had been the scene of other serious accidents in the past.

Sir David Clarke, sitting with Lord Justice Moore-Bick and Mr Justice Nicol, said Pitcher was exceeding the 60mph speed limit before the crash, but had been "deeply affected" by the loss of his friend and colleague.

The crown court judge had faced a "difficult sentencing exercise", added Sir David, concluding that 12 months was too long.

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