Careless Hucknall driver who killed loving wife and mother is locked up

A Hucknall driver who killed a woman after careering into a parked taxi has been jailed.

Friday, 24th June 2022, 3:18 pm

Richard Clarke, 37, was driving along Annesley Road in Hucknall, when he distracted by his unrestrained pet dog.

Moments before the collision, on the morning of November 3 last year, the adult Weimaraner had begun to move around in the back of the vehicle, causing Clarke to take his eyes off the road.

Seconds later, he hit the front of a taxi that had arrived to pick up a 77-year-old woman and her 80-year-old husband.

Richard Clarke was jailed for 24 weeks after pleading guilty to causing the death of Kathleen Hinsley by careless driving.

Tragically the woman – who was in the process of climbing into the car through the rear passenger side door at the time of the collision – suffered serious injuries, that later proved fatal in hospital.

Her husband sustained fractures to his pelvis and leg, and also sustained a deep cut to his forehead.

The taxi driver was not seriously injured.

The victim was later named as Kathleen Hinsley, a wife and mother, who was a popular and well know figure in the Hucknall community.

Clarke, of Bestwood Road, Hucknall, who was also uninjured in the crash, later admitted to a charge of causing death by careless driving.

Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court on June 23, he was jailed for 24 weeks and handed a 64 week driving ban.

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Detective Constable Chris Taylor, who led the investigation on behalf of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was a tragic incident and our thoughts and sympathies reman with the victim’s family.

"Although no criminal sanction can bring back their beloved wife and mother, I do hope that this sentence provides them with at least some degree of closure.

“Clarke was fatally distracted because he hadn’t appropriately restrained his dog when he set off on his journey.

"The tragedy of this case is that it could have been avoided with the use of a simple seatbelt harness which can be bought for under £10.

“I only hope that what happens serves as a warning to other pet owners about the potential consequences of failing to secure their animals when they are using the road.”

After the tragic incident last year, Kathleen’s family paid a touching tribute, describing her as a ‘constant support and encouragement to many’.

They went on to say: “Kathleen was a familiar face to many in Hucknall.

"Prior to her retirement 17 years ago she worked at Haywoods on Watnall Road and was one of the founders of the St Mary Magdalene Pram Club.

“She was a talented seamstress, cook and baker with her chocolate cake always in high demand.

“Her death has left a massive hole in the lives of those who loved her and cared for her.

“She will be remembered as a person who was small in stature but had the strength and determination of someone twice her size.

“She was fiercely protective of her family and a constant support and encouragement to many.

“We will be forever grateful for the care she received from paramedics, the fire service and police officers who were first on the scene and to the staff who looked after her and cared for her during her final days.”