York & North Yorkshire

Selby crash mum 'haunted' over causing baby's death

A 21-year-old mother who caused the death of her baby son in a car accident will be "forever haunted" by her actions, a court has heard.

Sophie Boyeldieu, of Selby, was given a suspended prison sentence after admitting causing the death of 17-month-old Aidan by careless driving.

York Crown Court was told Aidan may have survived had he been properly strapped into his car seat.

Her barrister said she had "paid the ultimate price".

Boyeldieu, of Honeysuckle Close, was driving on the A63 Selby bypass in April with her future husband John Grice when for an "inexplicable" reason she lost control of the car.

York Crown Court, sitting at Harrogate Magistrates' Court, was told on an earlier occasion she had been caught speeding and declined to go on a speed awareness course.

Recorder Eric Elliott QC said: "You not only caused the death of a young child, but caused injuries to others.

"It is a very great shame that you did not take advantage of the driving awareness course.

"You might not be here today and your young son might still be alive."

'Struggling to cope'

Prosecuting Olivia Checa-Dover said Boyeldieu was travelling at between 50 and 60mph when her vehicle was seen weaving and crossing onto the other side of the road.

The court was told an expert looked at the car seat and straps used to restrain the baby and concluded he was not properly secured.

She said: "If Aidan had been properly strapped in it might have prevented this death."

Robert Underwood, for Boyeldieu, said she had no memory of the crash or what caused it.

"Here we are really left in the dark. This woman cannot recall what happened that day."

Speaking to the judge, Mr Underwood said: "Whatever you choose to do with this young lady she will be forever haunted by what happened on that April day in 2011.

"She is particularly tormented at the suggestion that her failure to strap baby Aidan into the chair securely could have played some part in the tragedy.

"That is something she is struggling to cope with."

Boyeldieu was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

She was also disqualified from driving for two years and must take an extended driving test.

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