Jail hanging over Ilkeston woman

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A JAIL sentence hangs over an Ilkeston mum who caused two car crashes while ‘showing off’ in front of passengers including her ten-year-old daughter.

A court heard how former nurse Jody Whigham began to overtake Sarah Toon’s car at high speed and, when forced to abort the move by oncoming traffic, her Peugeot 206 hit the other car.

Whigham, 32, carried on driving and a passenger made offensive gestures to a shocked Ms Toon before the Peugeot overtook other vehicles.

The collision took place in Ripley Road, Bullbridge, just before 6pm on January 24 and Ms Toon noted Whigham’s registration plate and informed police.

Rosemary Lake, prosecuting, told Chesterfield magistrates that Whigham caused another collision three hours later at Whatstandwell, near Cromford.

Her car spun and skidded to a halt in the middle of the main A6 after again colliding while overtaking. It was then abandoned by Whigham, who left the area by taxi.

Mrs Lake said police were unable to trace her but a male friend called them the following morning to say she was with him, and she was then arrested.

“She said she had been showing off and driving too fast.

She felt the cars ‘touch’ as she was overtaking and she panicked and lost control and spun around.

“She also admitted being involved in the earlier accident, saying she misjudged the distance while overtaking and didn’t stop,” added Mrs Lake.

Whigham, of St John’s Road, Ilkeston, admitted charges of careless driving and failing to stop and report road accidents. She had no previous convictions.

Magistrates said the offences were aggravated by her having a child passenger and they imposed a six-week jail term – but it was suspended it for a year.

The justices also gave her a one-year probation supervision order and a one-year driving ban, with £85 costs.

Probation officer Gerry Starnes told the court Whigham set out driving with a friend and her daughter, intending to walk two dogs in a wood.

“She says the second accident rendered her vehicle undriveable,” said Mr Starnes.

“She feels ashamed and says she is unlikely to drive again. The vehicle has been written off.”

Whigham’s solicitor, Bob Bashforth, added: “This kind of driving is normally associated with young men and she can’t explain it.

“She had met an old friend and he suggested they took the dogs for a walk. It involved driving to Matlock and she was simply showing off.

“She says no hand gestures were made to her knowledge following the first accident.

“The second accident happened on the way back.”