Mansfield company boss who killed couple married for 63 years jailed after losing control of Land Rover

A Mansfield company boss who killed an elderly couple in a horror crash after being distracted by his sat-nav has been jailed for just three months.

Gary Marshall, 61, ploughed into a vehicle containing William and Brenda Skears when he lost control of his Land Rover on a bend in November 2018.

The aftermath of the smash. (Photo: Northamptonshire Police).

The aftermath of the smash. (Photo: Northamptonshire Police).

A court heard Marshall became momentarily distracted when he pressed his sat-nav to accept an alternative route on his way home from a meeting.

He turned into the path of a Skoda Fabia while travelling along the A508 in the village of Roade, Northants.

William, 89, and his wife Brenda, 85, married for 63 years and who were being given a lift home from hospital, were pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the collision.

Marshall, an air conditioning business owner, admitted two counts of causing death by careless driving at Northampton Crown Court.

Sentencing, Judge Adrienne Lucking QC told him: “You should’ve been more aware and not allowed yourself to be distracted."

He was also disqualified from driving for two years and three months and will spend 12 months on licence following his release.

The couple had been travelling home from Northampton General Hospital with a volunteer transport service when the crash occurred at about 6pm on November 18.

Summarising a statement from their only son Robert Skears, prosecutor Neil Bannister said: “When he was informed of their deaths it felt like his whole world had fallen from beneath him.

“He was very close to them as their only child and lived with them his whole life. He’s got a lot of adjusting to do and misses them terribly.”

Tim Pole, defending Marshall said: “It is the last thing he thinks about when he goes to bed and the first thing he thinks about when he gets up.

“It was a year before he was charged and he’s going to be living with the consequences forevermore and I can say he is the sort of man that’s not going to simply be able to push this to the back of his mind.”