Lorry driver who caused death of woman in Altrincham has sentence almost doubled

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A lorry driver jailed for causing the death of a 29-year-old woman in Altrincham has had his sentence almost doubled.

William Stewart, 25, was jailed for four and a half years at Preston Crown Court in September after being convicted of causing death by dangerous driving by a jury in August. He was also banned from driving for five years following his release.

Stewart failed to secure a metal stabiliser on his Ford Iveco lorry, which subsequently killed Natalie Thorpe, a 29-year-old Urmston resident who worked at Elite Dress Agency on Market Street.

Thorpe, the mother of a 12-year-old son, had been stood at a pedestrian crossing on Dunham Road when she was hit.

The Ford Iveco lorry involved in the incident

Appeal Court judges have now ruled that Stewart was let off too lightly and have increased his jail term to seven years.

Lord Justice Davis said he was guilty of “indolent indifference” for the safety of others, adding: “He actively knew before he set off on his journey. He simply couldn’t be bothered to secure them to spare himself some time and personal inconvenience.

“This was in total and flagrant disregard for the safety of others – he just didn’t care.”

Flowers left at the scene in memory of Natalie Thorpe

Lawyers for the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC, had argued Stewart’s original jail term was far too soft, and the three Appeal Court judges agreed.

Lord Justice Davis said: “This was a shocking case of dangerous driving, a heavy goods vehicle is in effect a very dangerous weapon.”

The sentence of four and a half years was far too light, he concluded, and the “least justifiable sentence, after a trial, was seven years”.

In a victim’s impact statement given at the trial, Natalie Thorpe’s mother said learning of her daughter’s death was “the worst news I could possibly have”.

She said: “Our family’s hurt will go on for the rest of our lives. No sentence will bring Natalie – Lewis’s mother – back.”

William Stewart was today jailed for four and a half years
William Stewart was today jailed for four and a half years
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