Colne woman who drove off from crash with man clinging to car bonnet ‘should have gone to jail’

A WOMAN who smashed her car into an antiques shop before careering down the road while a man clung to her bonnet for dear life has walked free from court.

Friday, 29th June 2012, 9:23 am

Mandy McGuigan avoided jail despite admitting charges of GBH, dangerous driving and failing to stop after an accident following the incident on June 22nd last year.

The incident happened when McGuigan went into Heathcote Antiques, Keighley, to try to sell a picture.

When she was refused, she left the store and accidentally reversed her car into the shop.

Staff member Simon Webster (46) then stood in front of her car but she drove straight into him, carrying him along and forcing him to launch himself from the bonnet of the vehicle 100 metres later.

He was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

McGuigan (42), of Tennyson Road, Colne, then carried on driving without knowing whether or not she had killed him.

Mr Webster, who was in court, said of McGuigan’s 12-month sentence, suspended for two years: “She should have gone to jail. I really feel lucky to be alive and suffer pain even now. It was a very serious crime which warranted custody.

“It was horrendous at the time. I just put myself in front of the car as I didn’t want her driving. I was screaming at her to stop.

“I’m not sure if I’d do that again now.”

Speaking about the £750 compensation McGuigan was ordered to pay, Mr Webster added: “It’s a drop in the ocean really.

“I was left with a broken shoulder, cuts to the back of my head, part of my knee is missing and I had cuts and bruises all over my body. I’ve no medical bills but I did miss a lot of work, so that really doesn’t cover it.

“I’m just glad she was going down the wrong side of the road as I would have been flung into a wall if she was on the right side, and that definitely would have killed me.”

Bradford Crown Court heard McGuigan has mental health problems which have been brought about by years of abusing amphetamines and drink. She also has previous criminal damage offences.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall said: “This is a very unusual case and if I had been sentencing you immediately, I would have put you in prison for at least 15 months.

“Because of your crass stupidity and selfishness, your victim suffered a broken shoulder and was lucky to not be more seriously injured.”

CCTV captured the moment McGuigan drove at Mr Webster, propelling him on to the bonnet, and heading along the road with him clinging on.

McGuigan drove off from the scene, but was caught as the registration number on her Peugeot 307 car led police to her address, where she was arrested.

The court heard how she is on medication and, although she had drank a can of lager on the day of the accident, she was not over the drink-drive limit.

McGuigan was also given 300 hours’ unpaid work, two years’ supervision and a three-month curfew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

She was also ordered to take an extended driving test after serving a two-year ban.