Patricia Pringle: Woman who killed elderly couple in Leicestershire crash while using phone jailed for nine years

21 June 2024, 15:51 | Updated: 21 June 2024, 17:53

A woman who killed an elderly couple as she used her phone while driving has been jailed for nine years.

Patricia Pringle's Volkswagen Golf veered onto the wrong side of the A47 in Rutland in May 2022, colliding with a Fiat Qubo whose occupants - 89-year-old Clive Jones and his wife Elaine, 82 - were pronounced dead at the scene.

The couple's family said their remaining years had been "stolen from them and from us" and they "never had the chance to say goodbye".

Pringle, 56, "implied she was holding her mobile phone" when the collision happened, another motorist told police.

It was later "identified that Pringle had been in a phone call at the time the incident occurred", Leicestershire Police said.

Last month Pringle, from Spinney Hill in Leicester, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of possession of cannabis.

In addition to the jail term, Pringle has been banned from driving for five years - something that will begin on her release from prison.

She will also have to take an extended retest.

'Extraordinary people'

The family of Mr and Mrs Jones said the couple were "extraordinary people" who lived to "full capacity".

They added: "The shock, horror, and disbelief of their deaths remains with so many people - their family, friends and their community.

"As a family, we will never not know how they died, the extent of their injuries, and the trauma of being informed of their deaths and the days, months and years that followed.

"Their remaining years were stolen from them and from us. We never had the chance to say goodbye. We miss them each day and in so many ways.

"That they died together is a blessing as they did everything together in life."

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Detective Constable Emma Mitchell, from the serious collision investigation unit, said: "Throughout the investigation, Pringle appeared to show very little remorse for her actions.

"However, I'm pleased she faced up to what she'd done."

She added: "There's a reason why using a mobile phone while driving can result in points on your licence.

"I would like to think this case serves as a stark warning to road users who think it's acceptable to do so that their actions can have fatal consequences."