A HAGLEY driver jailed for careless driving following her role in a crash which killed a cyclist, has lost her appeal.

In March Balvinder Sangha and former University of Worcester student Emily Wilkinson were jailed at Worcester Crown Court following the death of 58-year-old dad David Fawthrop, from Barnt Green, known as Ross to family and friends.

The court heard Wilkinson, aged 21, of Chestnut Drive, Hagley, was on her way to a school placement when she pulled out of a side road in Romsley, Halesowen, and hit Sangha’s Ford Transit van, causing it to spin into Mr Fawthrop.

Wilkinson was jailed for six months for causing the death in June 2017.

Sangha, 46, who had been speeding in the incident, was also convicted of death by careless driving and jailed for a year.

Appealing against her sentence at the Court of Appeal Wilkinson’s barrister, Sophie Murray, argued she had been too harshly treated as she was only 19 at the time, was a comparatively new driver who did not know the road well, and had been left facing the possibility her dream career as a teacher would be over.

“She has been deeply affected by the accident,” the barrister said.

“She had suffered from PTSD, anxiety and depression and treated. She had written letters to the family and the judge expressing her deep remorse and demonstrating that it had weighed very heavily on her.”

In her letter to the family, Wilkinson wrote that she would have happily swapped places with the tragic Mr Thawthrop.

Dismissing the appeal, Justice Spencer said it was a case where an early guilty plea “might well have made the difference”.

“The fact remains that she drove into the path of the approaching van without ever seeing it,” he said.

“It was the clearest case, in our view, of careless driving. She chose to contest the case because she was not prepared to accept her responsibility for this fatal accident.”

“We hope very much that this aberration on the part of Emily Wilkinson will not have adverse consequences for her career. We would like it to be brought to the attention of those who need to know these things that that is our view.”

Speaking after the original trial, Mr Fawthrop's widow Lynda, married to him for 32 years, described him as a kind, loving and valued member of society and a wonderful role model to their two children, Mark and Matt.

She described how the construction manager’s death had shattered her family and that telling her children of his death was the hardest thing she had ever had to do, knowing she would have 'to break their hearts’.