Times caption: Kerrin Wilson strayed on to the wrong side of the road while making a phone call, injuring another driver
A piece by Neil Johnston in yesterday’s Times:
A senior police officer who “put lives at risk” when her Mini smashed into an oncoming car as she tried to make a hands-free phone call to her husband, an MP, has escaped a driving ban.
Kerrin Wilson, the assistant chief constable of Lincolnshire police, strayed on to the wrong side of the road moments after leaving the force’s headquarters last December. The collision injured the driver of the other car, Nottingham magistrates’ court was told.
Wilson, 51, became “distracted” as she tried to find the Bluetooth button on the steering wheel of her Mini Countryman as she tried to call her husband, Phil Wilson, the Labour MP for Sedgefield. The other driver, Leanne Storr, suffered whiplash and bruising and had to be taken to hospital.
Wilson was due to attend a “driver improvement” course in June but was refused entry after turning up ten minutes late.
After pleading guilty to driving without due care and attention at an earlier hearing, Wilson was yesterday ordered to pay £1,460 in fines and costs and had seven points added to her licence.
Mark Fielding, for the prosecution, said that the crash happened at about 5.30pm on December 21 last year in Nettleham, Lincolnshire, and although it was dark the most likely reason for the crash was that she was driving a car that was new to her.
“She pulled out of work and then decided to make a phone call using the hands-free facility in the car,” he said. “That distracted her because the car was new to her. She crossed over the central line and was straddling the middle of the road for an appreciable period of time while looking for the button to press.”
Wilson, who is being investigated for misconduct, did not appear in court yesterday but in a letter to the court said that she had taken her eyes off the road “momentarily”. The letter said she was “severely remorseful” and aware her driving “fell below the required standard”.
David Clarson, chairman of the bench, said: “Driving without due care and attention is a serious matter which can put lives at risk. We are obliged to treat everybody in the same way, and that is particularly relevant in this case. In this case we have somebody who has shown remorse, shown immediate care for the victim and has pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.” [J4MB translation into plain English: “In this case we have somebody with a vagina, and we’re obliged to treat women leniently, and men harshly. Women deserve compassion, men deserve punishment.”]
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