‘No justice’ for grandmother who was killed by a drink driver

Ian Parkman.

Ian Parkman. - Credit: Archant

The daughter of a woman who was killed by a drink driver is ‘disgusted’ with the three-year prison sentence given to the driver.

Edith Caunt, aged 86, suffered severe injuries when she was hit by 50-year-old Ian Parkman on Bridgwater Road in Uphill at 5.30pm on July 31 last year.

Parkman, of Moseley Grove in Uphill, pleaded guilty to death by careless driving when over the prescribed alcohol limit.

The court heard how Parkman had driven to the Mendips to go for a walk, but had then visited three pubs and consumed six pints of Thatchers cider mixed with antidepressant tablets before driving home.

Parkman told police he ‘did not recall’ seeing anybody in the road and assumed he had hit a dog when he heard a bang.

Mrs Caunt had been out walking her dog when she was hit by Parkman’s Land Rover just metres from the home she shared with her daughter Janice Richards.

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Mrs Richards said she went to investigate when she heard there had had been an accident outside her house and she found her mother lying in the road.

She stayed with her mum until the paramedics arrived, but Mrs Caunt died shortly afterwards.

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Mrs Richards, aged 67, said: “My mum and I were very close and it’s left me devastated.

“I like to remember how my mum was but the first thing that comes to my head is what happened and seeing her in the road.

“It happened outside my house and every time I go out I think about it.

“My mother was very active and independent. She was a lovely lady, very caring and very committed to her family.

“I will miss my mother a lot.”

Richard Smith, mitigating, said Parkman had been signed off work a month earlier due to ‘extraordinary stress in his job’.

Mr Smith said he had previously been ‘hardworking, caring and gregarious man’ before he became depressed and started using alcohol to ‘escape the stress’.

Parkman’s blood alcohol level was more than three times over the legal limit.

Judge Lambert sentenced him to three years in prison and disqualified him from driving for four years and 18 months. He must also pass an extended driving test.

Mrs Caunt, who had five children and five grandchildren, moved in with her daughter in 1999 after her husband died.

Speaking after the sentencing, Mrs Richards said: “I’m disgusted. I was hoping for more.

“I don’t think she’s had justice. It’s not made our lives any better. He’s a horrible, selfish and ignorant person.”

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