A woman driver who left a nurse paralysed for life when she crashed her car while driving on the wrong side of the road has been spared jail and fined just £90.
Reckless Amanda Chambers, 40, ploughed her Audi TT head-on into a Renault Clio being driven by Susan Moseley, 50, leaving her with life-changing injuries.
Mum-of-one Susan had been giving friends a lift home after a New Year’s Eve party when the horror crash happened in the early hours of January 1.
Chambers’ car strayed onto the wrong side of the road as she turned the corner on Lichfield Road, Walsall, West Mids., and smashed into Susan’s car.
The mental health nurse fractured her back, all her ribs and broke both ankles – and has been left wheelchair bound and told she will never walk again.
Police quizzed Chambers on suspicion of drink-driving but she was unable to provide a sample for an alcohol test because she was also injured in the crash.
The Crown Prosecution Service then decided to charge Chambers with careless driving rather than dangerous driving.
On Tuesday, Chambers pleaded guilty when she appeared at Walsall Magistrates Court who admitted their sentencing powers were restricted as a result of the CPS’ decision.
She was fined £90, ordered to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. She was also banned from driving for 12 months.
After the case road safety charity Brake slammed the decision and called on tougher sentences for similar cases in future.
Ellen Booth, senior campaigns officer at the charity, said: “Brake believes that whenever a driver’s bad driving has resulted in a crash that either kills or leaves someone with life-changing injuries, it should be considered ‘dangerous driving’, and the driver should expect to face tough penalties to reflect the seriousness of the crime.”
Susan’s civil partner Susan Dunning, 57, from Burntwood, Staffs., added: “I don’t believe #90 is enough of a punishment but the magistrates were restricted as to what they could impose.
“And I suppose the CPS can only go with what evidence they have – but this incident has changed our lives upside down.
“Susan is really up and down. She missed her son’s 21st birthday because she was in an induced coma and we had to cancel a holiday to Marrakesh to celebrate her 50th birthday.
“But friends have been very supportive about everything.
“She also loved her job, visiting senior schools talking to children and adolescents with mental health problems.
“She had recently gained some some extra qualifications too – but she may never work again.”
Susan will be discharged from hospital in June but she will not be able to return home immediately as adaptations have to be made to their bungalow.
Mrs Dunning added: “Every doorway will have to be widened, ramps have to be put in and she hasn’t even got a wheelchair yet.
“There is a whole load of equipment that she is going to need.
“She will still need physio every day. It’s going to tough for both us but we will have to battle on.”