Taylor Moulds, 18, was jailed for 14 months two weeks ago after he pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving following the horror crash on Seamer Moor Lane, near Scarborough.
However, he had his sentence reduced to eight months on Thursday when judge Sean Morris, the Recorder of York, called the case back into court under a procedure known as “the slip rule”.
Moulds, of Ramsey Street, Scarborough, also had his original driving ban reduced by three months to two years and four months during the “slip-rule” hearing at York Crown Court.
The learner driver only had a provisional licence and was not displaying ‘L’ plates when his Vauxhall Corsa “flew” over a hump on the wrong side of the road and ploughed head-on into a Ford Ka driven by 81-year-old Margaret Arnall.
The accident on Seamer Moor Lane, commonly known by locals as Dickie Harper's Lane, occurred at about 10am on November 29 last year as Miss Arnall, a church layman, and her friend Dorothy Berry, 75, were travelling from Scarborough to York on a shopping trip.
The single-carriage road was “clearly marked” with double white lines which prohibited overtaking due to numerous hidden dips, the court heard.
The two women - both highly-respected community volunteers - were taken to Scarborough Hospital by ambulance.
Miss Berry, who was knocked unconscious, suffered numerous catastrophic injuries including a broken collarbone, collapsed lung, a fractured hip joint, an open wrist wound and fracture, multiple bone splinters in her forearm, a fractured chest bone, three broken ribs, two spinal fractures, a perforated instestinal ulcer and severely-bruised breastbone.
She was transferred to Hull Royal Infirmary and spent five months under the care of doctors and surgeons during the Covid pandemic, undergoing several operations to have metal plates fitted, her chest drained and a “wash-out” of her infected wrist wound, as well as further surgery to repair the intestinal ulcer which had caused severe abdominal pain. Her extreme physical and mental trauma resulted in a stroke.
On December 15, she was admitted to intensive care where she spent three weeks before being moved back onto a ward on January 5 this year and then transferred back to Scarborough Hospital, where she was put in a spinal brace and underwent more surgery.
Miss Berry wasn’t discharged until the end of March and now relies on her friend Miss Arnall for round-the-clock care.
Miss Arnall’s own injuries - including severe bruising all over her body and a hand injury which required stitches - were relatively minor compared with those suffered by her friend, who is unlikely to ever fully regain her mobility.
Moulds, who was working in a call centre, was said to be deeply remorseful for the “horrific accident”.
At the original sentence hearing earlier this month, Mr Morris said although Moulds was not technically speeding and was “ordinarily a thoroughly-decent young man”, he had “deliberately” taken the ‘L’ plates off his car “and on this sunny day, on a clear and well-marked road, you deliberately overtook on double white lines (next to a hidden dip)”.
The accident, which had such “catastrophic” consequences, had been caused by a “brief but obviously-dangerous manouevre that went horribly wrong”.
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