Uninsured driver who disabled horse rider while talking on mobile phone escapes jail
Dean Lee escaped jail today after hitting and killing a horse while driving without insurance and using his mobile phone
A speeding motorist who killed a horse and seriously injured the rider while talking on his mobile phone has walked free from court.
Horse-lover Lynn Graham's life was "utterly destroyed" when a 23-year-old uninsured motorist ploughed into them both in February.
The 53-year-old suffered a broken neck, punctured lung, fractured pelvis, three broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder as a result of Dean Lee's "atrocious" driving.
Mrs Graham's beloved horse, Friendly, died while paramedics rushed to the scene.
Lee pleaded guilty to driving without insurance, to driving without due care and attention and to using a hand-held mobile phone while driving.
His victim, who was accompanied to Gloucester magistrates court by her uncle Brian Gardiner, broke down in tears when prosecuting solicitor Louise Pinder described the accident.
"It was around midday when another motorist saw the defendant driving a Volvo at between 50 and 60mph, in excess of the speed limit and Minchamptom Common, Gloucestershire , and clearly talking on his mobile phone," said Ms Pinder.
She told the court that Ms Graham now walks with a crutch, cannot do her own hair, or dress or shower herself.
Victim: Linda Graham was hit by Lee
"She said, in a victim's statement, that the accident has robbed her of her standard of life."
Graham Wallis, defending, said: "My client tenders his deep remorse and apologies to the victim.
"As a van driver, if banned then he will lose his job.
"Any compensation will be subject to separate civil proceedings."
Chairman of the bench Andrew Hedges told Thomas: "Your driving on that day was atrocious - you were driving at speed and while using a mobile phone. As a man who drives for a living you should have known better."
Lee was banned from driving for 12 months, fined a total of £500, ordered to take an extended driving test at the end of his ban and to pay prosecution costs of £60.
After the case Lee made no comment, but Lynn Graham said: "He has taken my life away and my good horse."