A WORCESTER University student has been jailed for careless driving following her role in a crash which killed a cyclist.

Balvinder Sangha and former University of Worcester student Emily Wilkinson were jailed at Worcester Crown Court on Monday following the death David Fawthrop, of Barnt Green, known as Ross to family and friends.

Both defendants had denied causing death by careless driving but were convicted by a jury at their trial. Members of Mr Fawthrop’s family, including his widow, read out victim personal statements before the pair were jailed.

Wilkinson, aged 21, of Chestnut Drive, Hagley, wept throughout the hearing while 46-year-old Sangha of Old House Lane, Romsley, near Bromsgrove, also appeared emotional as the family spoke about the impact of their loss.

The 58-year-old was killed when Wilkinson pulled out of a junction in Romsley, Halesowen, and hit Sangha's Ford Transit van, causing it to spin into Mr Fawthrop.

The court heard that Sangha was driving at 46mph, above the 30mph speed limit, when the crash happened and that Wilkinson had not checked the road was clear before pulling out in her silver Vauxhall Corsa.

Mr Fawthrop suffered multiple injuries during the incident in Bromsgrove Road, Halesowen at 7.40am on June 15, 2017. An ambulance arrived but his condition deteriorated and he died.

Mr Fawthrop's widow Lynda, married to him for 32 years, described him as a kind, loving and valued member of society and a wonderful role model to their two children, Mark and Matt.

She described how the construction manager’s death had shattered her family and that telling her children of his death was the hardest thing she had ever had to do, knowing she would have 'to break their hearts’.

Mrs Fawthrop described how the ‘devastation just grew and grew’ and that Sangha and Wilkinson had taken away their hopes and dreams when they killed him.

“We are tortured by questions – did he know he was going to die? How much pain was he in? A witness confirmed he was screaming in pain” said Mrs Fawthrop.

"The choices of these two careless people led to my husband dying at the side of the road in agony without his family" said.

His widow also described how the defendants had added insult to injury by pleading not guilty, forcing them to go through a trial and said: “They have shown no remorse to us.”

His sons also prepared a victim personal statement which was read to the court. They said: “The decision to plead not guilty was one final insult to our family.”

The statement said they would never know why Wilkinson did not see the van as she pulled out of the junction and said the poor choices of both drivers had caused their dad’s death.

Sophie Murray, for Wilkinson, said her client had written a letter to the family ‘setting out her remorse and sheer desolation at what had befallen the family’.

“She has accepted her responsibility. She lives with that every day.”

Miss Murray said Wilkinson had expressed a wish that she could take Mr Fawthrop’s place and that she had suffered PTSD as a result of the incident and it had severely affected her mental health. The court heard that Wilkinson had been diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

Wilkinson had undertaken a university placement at a primary school and was of previous good character. A character reference from the University of Worcester was also provided on her behalf by Miss Murray.

Kevin Hegarty, for Sangha, said his client had been on the correct side of the road, was in complete control of the vehicle and was not under the influence of drink or drugs.

He said it was the combination of his carelessness and that of Wilkinson which had caused Mr Fawthrop’s death.

He described his client as having set up his own building company, showing ‘determination and strength of character’.

Judge Jim Tindal praised the dignified way Mr Fawthrop’s family had behaved during the trial. He said: “What can I possibly say that has not be said more powerfully and with more truth than by Ross’s own family? As they absolutely rightly say nothing I say or do today will make any real difference.

“It’s tempting to say ‘if only you had shown the degree of insight and remorse you are now beginning to show at an earlier stage’.”

The judge said perhaps they had each convinced themselves that ‘the other was purely to blame’ but that the jury had ‘no trouble seeing through that'.

He jailed Sangha for 12 months and banned him from driving for three years. An extra six months was added to the length of the ban so that the three year ban will begin when he is released from prison after serving half his sentence in custody. He also must complete an extended retest. Wilkinson was jailed for six months and banned from driving for two years. The ban was extended by three months so it will begin when she is released at the halfway point on her sentence.