Magherafelt man sentenced over mother's crash death
A Magherafelt man, who caused the death of his elderly mother in a car crash, has been given a suspended jail sentence at Londonderry Crown Court.
Noel Young, 48, from Carraloan Road in Magherafelt, also admitted injuring a woman who was pregnant. The baby later died.
The crash happened on the Glenshane Road on 2 August, 2015.
Young was given a six-month term suspended for two years and was also banned from driving for four years.
He pleaded guilty to causing the death of his mother, Vera Young, by driving without due care and attention.
He also admitted causing grievous bodily harm by careless driving to two passengers in the car he crashed into.
One of those was a woman who was 19-weeks pregnant and subsequently lost her unborn baby and the other passenger was her father-in-law.
The incident happened at the junction of the Glenshane Road and Lurgangoose Road between Magherafelt and Dungiven.
A jeep driven by the defendant pulled into the other vehicle's path and collided almost head on with it.
The impact was so great that it caused their car to spin off the road and crash into a ditch.
The defendant's mother sustained multiple internal and external injuries and died four days later in hospital.
The judge said it was abundantly clear that the defendant did not see the oncoming car when he pulled out onto the main road.
He said the accident occurred just two months after Young had undergone the latest in a number of neurological surgical procedures for a brain tumour.
His first operation had been in 2007.
The judge pointed out that the current guidelines suggested that as a result of the surgery, the defendant would not have been allowed to drive for one year after the operation.
The court was told that Young said he remembered nothing about the accident.
"It is accepted that he should have been warned not to drive following the surgery two months before the accident," said judge Babington.
"He should have been told to contact the DVLNI. It seems he was not told anything and neither were any of his relatives".
The judge said he had to give consideration to the defendant's ongoing and serious medical issues at the time of the incident in relation to the sentencing process.
He called it an "exceptionally difficult case".
"The defendant's mother has died," he said. "Two other people suffered life changing injuries and an unborn baby died."
He added that Young "was not a well man physically and he should not have been on the road".