Drunk Mansfield woman killed motorcyclist after veering across the road

A Mansfield woman who downed five pints of lager and two Jägerbombs before veering across double white lines and killing a motorcyclist has been jailed for five years.

Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 5:30 pm

CCTV showed Julieanne Walsh nearly falling over as she pulled herself into the driving seat of her white Vauxhall Combo van after spending three hours in the pub.

Another motorist reported her ‘tailgating his car’ on the A60 north to Mansfield before overtaking and swerving wildly across the road, just before 9pm, on Sunday, July 25, last year, said prosecutor Wayne Cleaver.

As she drove around a ‘slight left hand bend’ at Burntstump Hill, she crossed the white lines and clipped 48-year-old Mark Osborne’s bike.

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Julieanne Walsh.

The witness saw Mr Osborne ‘still on his motorbike, screaming and shouting as if in frustration’, before losing control and hitting the verge. He was thrown from the bike and hit a traffic post.

Emergency services ‘did what they could’, but he died at the scene from severe chest injuries.

Nottingham Crown Court heard Mr Osborne had chatted with his wife of 27 years on the phone, minutes before the fatal collision.

Investigators found part of a broken wing mirror amid the debris and were able to identify the van and trace Walsh to her home within hours.

Mark Osborne.

When she was breathalysed in custody at 2.30am the next day, she gave a reading of 66 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, when the legal limit is 35mcg – calculations suggested she would have had at least 93mcg in her system at the time of the incident.

The court heard statements from Mr Osborne’s wife, son and daughter, who spoke of their grief and devastation at their loss and their ongoing pain.

As a result of his death, his wife and son have lived in fear of losing their home of 18 years and his daughter has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

He was described as ‘the kindest, funniest, most loving man I have ever known’, by his son.

"We had so many plans for the future,” he said. “Now none of that will happen because of one person’s selfish act.”

Walsh, aged 32, of Abbott Road, Mansfield, admitted causing death by careless driving when over the prescribed limit.

James Horne, mitigating, said Walsh, who had no previous convictions, was genuinely remorseful and now suffered ‘crippling feelings of guilt.’

Walsh, a carer, later told police she thought she had only clipped the bike with her wing-mirror and had no idea she had been involved in a fatal collision.

She struggled to come to terms with of the death of her brother in 2018 and blamed the criminal justice system.

“She made the biggest mistake of her life,” Mr Horne said. “She should not have been driving. It is as simple as that. She is acutely aware of the suffering she has caused.”

Sentencing, the Recorder of Nottingham, Judge Gregory Dickinson QC told her: “You meant no-one any harm, but the consequences for Mr Osborne and his family were every bit as devastating as if you went out with a knife or a gun.”

He sentenced her to five years in prison and she was banned from driving for five years and six months.

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