April 27, 2023 12.39 pm This story is over 14 months old

Family of woman killed in Wragby crash criticise driver’s ‘inadequate’ jail sentence

He veered into the opposite lane without warning

A driver who caused the death of one woman and seriously injured her pregnant partner following a collision in Lincolnshire was today (Thurs) jailed for five years.

Victor Grimmer, 62, of Main Street, Huthwaite, Notts, was found guilty of causing the death of Tara Green, 32, by dangerous driving after a trial at Lincoln Crown Court.

Grimmer was also convicted of a second charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving to Tara’s partner, Tanisha Howard.

The court heard Grimmer was driving westbound along the A158 at Rand, near Wragby, Lincs, on the evening of 12 December 2020, when his car drifted completely onto the wrong side of the road.

His vehicle collided with the car being driven by Miss Green, who was from the Boston area, and had Miss Howard in the front passenger seat.

Passing sentence Judge Simon Hirst told Grimmer: “It was dark, the road surface was damp, and the speed limit was 60mph.

“For some reason your vehicle completely left your carriageway and collided with the car being driven by Miss Green.

“I say for some reason as the court does not know what the reason was. You had a trial and the jury did not believe you.

“You have failed to give an explanation for why your vehicle left your carriageway.

“For example whether you were sleep deprived or not paying attention.

“Miss Green’s family and her partner will never know.”

Judge Hirst said Grimmer’s offending was also aggravated by his previous convictions which included an offence of driving while disqualified and having no insurance in 2017.

Before sentence was passed, Tara’s father, Paul Green, read out an emotional victim impact statement in court.

Mr Green described Tara’s infectious laugh and the biggest smile anyone had ever seen.

“She was only 32 and if the world runs for another million years she will still be only 32,” Mr Green said.

“We will never be able to get over that.”

He added: “Our lives have been ruined and will never be the same again.”

Mr Green said Tara had everything to live for, and had just revealed she was starting a family and was spending time with her mother and sister.

“She lit up every room she entered, but is now the brightest star in the sky, but cruelly she shouldn’t be,” Mr Green added.

“The list goes on, but so does the grieving.

“All our hearts were broken and died the night we were given that awful news.”

Mr Green concluded by saying: “You will live as long as we do. We love you Tara.”

Judge Hirst stressed to Mr Green that no sentence could put a value on Tara’s life.

The court heard Miss Howard required part of her bowel to be removed and suffered a number of fractures to her spine, right elbow and left foot.

She was placed in an induced coma and was in hospital for a month, requiring four operations.

Currently she is unable to walk more than 20 metres, and stand or drive without pain, although that is expected to improve.

Alex Wolfson, prosecuting, also read out a victim impact statement from Miss Howard, who was forced to leave her job and move in with her parents because of her injuries.

Miss Howard said she began the 12 December 2020 with everything and part of that was taken away by Grimmer’s stupid excuses for his driving.

Following the collision Miss Howard said she will never be able to forget Tara’s final words or her voice as she was trapped.

But Miss Howard stressed that even in those circumstances Tara put her partner and unborn baby first, shouting for medical attention for them.

“She was just amazing,” Miss Howard added.

Leanne Summers, mitigating, said Grimmer, who described the collision as a freak accident during his trial, had now reflected and expressed his remorse.

“The poor driving of Mr Grimmer was momentary,” Miss Summers added.

“Alcohol and speeding were not a factor.”

Grimmer was sentenced to five years imprisonment for causing the death of Miss Green by dangerous driving, and a three year concurrent sentence for causing serious injury to Miss Howard.

He was also banned from driving for seven and half years, and ordered to take an extended retest.

In a statement, the family of Tara Green said: “The verdict was obviously the right one, but we are now trying to live our lives without our beautiful, treasured daughter and sister,”

“We know that no sentence given would justify our loss but once again our judicial system has proved inadequate with its interpretation of what sentence should be awarded to a remorseless individual who has taken away the life of someone special who had so much to look forward to.

“Tara…you will be missed and loved forever by us and by all your family and friends. Love You TJ XXX.”

Tara Green’s partner said: “Although there’s been some justice today (all being not long enough), Tara Green will never get her life back, I will never heal from my injuries physically, mentally and emotionally. Our baby will never know her other parent in addition to having life limiting health issues.

“My best friend and partner of 7 years got taken away at a moment in life when our family was just starting and that loss will never be filled.

“I’ll forever cherish Tara and the time we had together, time cut far too short.”