November 9, 2010 8.51 am This story is over 158 months old

Death crash police inspector spared jail

Off duty: A police inspector who crashed into a parked car walked free from court with a suspended sentence.

The widow of a man who died after a police inspector crashed into a parked car near Lincoln said she was “gutted” after he received a suspended sentence.

Inspector Paul Stubbs, from Lincolnshire Police, was off-duty when he crashed into the car parked on a street in Burton, near Lincoln, on November 1 2009.

John Williamson (49), who was putting down the back seats back after dropping off his son’s girlfriend, was left dead. His son (22) and his girlfriend witnessed the crash.

Stubbs (35) was cleared of causing death by dangerous driving at a trial last month, but the jury convicted him of causing death by careless driving.

On Monday he was handed a 36-week sentence, suspended for two years, ordered to complete 150 hours unpaid work, and disqualified from driving for three years.

Williamson’s widow Wendy, who was at court for the sentence, said: “We’re gutted really, but there’s nothing we can do. We feel as though we’ve been cheated out of it.

“He can get on with his life now. What he got is nothing, really. Banned from driving for three years and he keeps his job, but what about us?”

The court heard Stubbs had not been speeding, drinking or using a mobile phone at the time, and Recorder Mark Wall QC said on Monday it was a case of inadvertence with tragic consequences:

“What you did, in effect, was to fail to pay proper attention to the road ahead of you. Had you done so you would doubtless have seen Mr Williamson’s car, been able to take evasive action and avoided hitting both the car and Mr Williamson.”

He said he did not know what effect the sentence would have on the inspector’s job, but that was for others to decide.

Lincolnshire Police today said since the accident Stubbs had been working in a “non-operational role” and would continue to until a misconduct hearing.

Source, Photo: Press Association | Related Report: BBC News, Lincolnshire Echo