Woman jailed for causing death by dangerous driving

Anita Berry has been jailed for four years after admitting causing death by dangerous driving
Anita Berry has been jailed for four years after admitting causing death by dangerous driving

A Croston woman has today been jailed for four years after admitting causing death by dangerous driving.

Anita Berry, 48 years old of Moor Road, was driving her Ford Ka when she drifted into the opposite carriageway and collided with a Ford Transit Minibus killing her front seat passenger, Darren Jackett, who was 40 years old.

The incident happened on April 21, 2011, on Wood Lane in Heskin at around 9.30pm.

The road was closed for three and a half hours to allow accident investigation work to be carried out.

Toxicology results showed that Berry had high amounts of illicit drugs in her system at the time of the incident.

She admitted the offence following a hearing at Preston Crown Court on April 20, this year.

His Honour Judge Anthony Russell said: “In my judgement there is no doubt that the driving was grossly impaired – driving whilst asleep or so drowsy that you lose control of the car cannot really be described as anything else.

“The evidence is that not only did you take a prescribed drug, methodone, but also illicit drugs as you admit and the report submitted on your behalf indicates.

“You had taken heroin and in the car a wrap of heroin was found.

“This combination must have affected your ability to drive, and the taking of any illicit drug indicates a degree of irresponsibility on your part because its effect in combination with prescribed drugs can have a significant effect on a person.

“This case ought to serve as a warning to drug abusers that drugs in your body seriously affect your ability to drive and can result in serious consequences.”

Sergeant Pat Worden from the Road Policing Unit said: “I am satisfied with the sentence handed down by the judge.

“It has been an incredibly difficult time for the family of Mr Jackett and I hope that today can bring them some closure.”

- For the full story, including reaction to the sentence and more details about what happened in court, see next week’s Guardian.