A Droylsden trainee nurse has walked free from court following a drink-driving horror crash that left a pensioner too scared to return to the roads.
Andrea Goulden, 38, of Edge Lane, careered an uninsured Audi A3 through a red light and into an oncoming vehicle at 2:15am in Hyde Road, Gorton, on March 18 last year.
The 67-year-old victim driving the opposing car had recently undergone a triple heart bypass – and suffered an angina attack at the scene.
Manchester Crown Court heard how the former Army serviceman has since suffered depression as his well-loved Rover 75 was written off in the collision.
A 29-year-old passenger in Goulden’s car suffered broken bones in his neck, back and ribs after being thrown from the vehicle – the force almost ripping off an ear.
The single mother-of-two was found guilty of dangerous driving, driving without insurance and failing to provide a breath specimen on Wednesday afternoon, receiving a 12-month sentence, suspended for 15 months.
Goulden was also given a three-month curfew, monitored by electronic tag, and banned for driving for 18 months with her license endorsed.
Judge Michael Leeming QC admitted the crime deserved jail-time, but spared her on account of being the sole carer for her children.
He said: “The situation at home, that’s the excuse put forward. It won’t wash next time.”
Defending Goulden, Iain Johnston described her 18-year-old son, an Asperger’s syndrome sufferer, as ‘dependent’ on his mother.
“She has struggled against the odds to better herself, to provide for her children and to try and become a useful member of society by pursuing the nursing degree,” he said.
“The offence was totally out of character.”
The incident occurred after a late-night boozing session with witnesses describing her as unstable on her feet.
The other passenger in the vehicle also escaped time behind bars following a racial attack in the aftermath of the crash.
Patrick Callaghan, 38, of Alvaston Road, Gorton, prevented passers-by from aiding his injured friend as he lay helpless in the road
Prosecutor Simon Barrett told the court how he lashed out at one individual, shouting, “You black c***. I’ll f***ing get you.”
Callaghan, who already had 120 convictions to his name and has never had a job, also swung a punch at a policeman who arrived on the scene.
Judge Leeming described the attack as ‘disgraceful’ and worthy of prison, but was swayed by the remorse shown and the lack of any re-offence in the past 15 months.
The father-of-one admitted causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress and was given a nine-month sentence, suspended for 12 months, a 12-month driving ban and a two-month curfew.
Picture courtesy of Ian Britton, with thanks.