Mark Osborne, 48, was killed when his motorcycle was hit by a van travelling along the A60 Mansfield Road ...
Mark Osborne, 48, was killed when his motorcycle was hit by a van travelling along the A60 Mansfield Road between Papplewick and Arnold.
Witnesses described the van swerving repeatedly in the moments leading up to the collision, which occurred around 9 p.m. on July 25, 2021.
Julieanne Walsh, who had spent the evening drinking at a pub and was nearly three times over the alcohol driving limit, was driving the van, according to Nottingham Crown Court.
She did not stop after the collision, but she was quickly apprehended by police.
She was sentenced to five years in prison today after admitting to causing death by careless driving while over the legal alcohol limit. The 32-year-old from Abbott Road in Mansfield was told she will serve half of her sentence in prison and the other half on licence.
"Almost a year ago, our lives were ruined by a careless and selfish act that took away a husband, a friend, a son, a brother, and a father," Mark's family said in a joint statement following his sentencing.
"Mark was a kind, funny, and caring man who lived life to the fullest and brightened the lives of so many." He enjoyed cooking, going to the movies, and spending time with his family – all of which were taken away from him and us.
"It is simply impossible to put into words the pain that has been caused." He was the most caring man we had ever met. Because of his compassionate nature, he frequently donated toys to sick children and raised a lot of money for children's charities.
"It's been extremely difficult to keep going because we're all completely broken."
Following the collision, the Serious Collision Investigation Unit of Nottinghamshire Police arrived on the scene and discovered that another vehicle had been involved.
They conducted immediate CCTV investigations, and a suspect vehicle was quickly identified and tracked down to Walsh's residence.
Officers observed damage to her van's offside wing mirrors consistent with debris left at the scene, and Walsh admitted to being involved in the collision earlier that evening.
She was then arrested for causing death by careless driving while intoxicated and failing a breath test. A back calculation revealed she would have been nearly three times over the alcohol limit for driving at the time of the collision, according to the court.
During the investigation, CCTV footage revealed that she had consumed five pints of lager and two Jägerbombs at a pub in the hours before the crash.
The CCTV footage captured her nearly falling over as she struggled to get into her vehicle about 40 minutes before the collision.
According to inquiries, she then drove through Nottingham city centre before stopping for food in Arnold. At 20.48 p.m., she began a perilous journey home.
During her initial police interview following her arrest, Walsh refused to comment. Officers were able to piece together a picture of her driving prior to the collision after speaking with several other drivers in the area at the time.
One witness described a white van swerving into a grass verge, causing dust to rise before reversing back to the centre line of the road.
Another said she was tailgated by a white van that swerved and was driven by a woman who matched Walsh's description. According to this witness, the van was very close to the centre of the road when it approached a bend with a motorcycle approaching from the opposite direction.
When the witness realised the van had hit the motorcycle, he pulled over, but the van did not stop.
Prosecutor Wayne Cleaver stated in court today (14 June 2022) that debris was left at the scene and that "due to the diligence of the police investigation," Walsh was quickly tracked down and arrested.
After hearing emotional impact statements from Mr. Osborne's family members, Judge Gregory Dickinson QC told Walsh that the "ultimately stupid and selfish act" had "shattered" many lives.
"On July 25, 2021, you drove drunk and killed a lovely human being," the judge told Walsh.
"While you had no intention of causing harm to anyone, the consequences for Mr. Osborne's family and friends are just as devastating as if you had gone out with a knife or a gun."
"As this case painfully demonstrates, a drunk driver's vehicle can be a lethal weapon."
"No sentence can put a value on a life lost – that is not the intention," the judge continued. Every life is unique, and there is nothing a court can do to make it right."
The judge imposed a five-year sentence after considering Walsh's guilty plea, her "genuine and profound" remorse, and the absence of any previous convictions.
Following the sentence, Police Sergeant Mark Baker of Nottinghamshire Police's Serious Collision Investigation Unit stated, "The devastating impact of Walsh's careless driving and drink driving will be felt by Mark's loved ones for the rest of his life." Our hearts go out to his family and friends.
"This collision could have been avoided if Walsh had shown any respect for the law and other road users by not driving after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol."
"This case serves as a reminder to everyone about the dangers of careless driving and drunk driving on our roads, which can have fatal consequences."
"I also hope it sends a clear message to other drivers that if you are caught breaking the law and endangering other people's lives, you will be prosecuted and brought before a court."