Motorist who killed Mansfield Woodhouse mother is condemned for his ‘disgusting’ jail sentence.

James Stafford, who was jailed for nine years for causing death by dangerous driving.
James Stafford, who was jailed for nine years for causing death by dangerous driving.

A Mansfield man who killed a mother after he drove into her while he was ‘bladdered’ has been condemned for his lenient sentence.

James Stafford admitted his guilt when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court.

He mowed down Sarah Redfern (31) of Vale Road, in Mansfield Woodhouse, after a night drinking.

Judge Michael Stokes gave Stafford the nine years for causing her death by dangerous driving on Haddon Road, a sentence that many have criticised.

Following the sentence, readers took to social media to express their disgust.

One said: “I don’t think his sentence is long enough for taking a life.”

Another commented: “It’s disgusting, he used a car as a weapon, just like other killers use knives. He should have been charged for murder. If he was in the USA I believe it would have been.”

Judge Stokes imposed no separate punishment after Stafford also admitted driving without insurance and failing to stop after an accident or report it.

But he did order a ten-year driving disqualification.

“There was no need for this to have happened at all,” Judge Stokes told Stafford.

“You yourself recognised when you were interviewed by police after you were arrested, that you were, to use your own word ‘bladdered’.

“You were hardly fit to walk down the street, never mind to get behind the wheel of a motor car.”

Miss Redfern, mum to a 12-year-old boy, had been walking with a man when he remembered seeing two flashes from a speed camera and a screech of tyres.

He was struck by Stafford (28) of Bonnington Road, in Mansfield, who had five other people in the car.

While the man suffered minor injuries, the car then ploughed into Miss Redfern and failed to stop, despite pleas from others in the car.

Miss Redfern died in hospital after the August crash.

Sarah Munro, prosecuting, said the owner of the car contacted police and said the driver at the time was Stafford, who already had nine points on his licence.

The speed camera had clocked his speed at 43mph in a 30mph limit, she added.

A breath test revealed he had 48 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, over the limit of 35, when he was checked at 8.15am the following morning.

But an expert estimated his alcohol reading at the time was 70 micrograms at its lowest and would have caused ‘significant impairment’.

The court heard the starting point for sentencing was eight years, with a range of seven to 14 years. The maximum would be 14 years after a trial.

In mitigation James Horne said: “I take no issue at all about what has been said about the guidelines.”