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Driver sentenced for lapse of concentration that led to the death of a great-grandmother

|News, Driving offences

A Merseyside man who drove through a red light into the path of another car, killing a 93-year-old great-grandmother has been sentenced.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Ronald Maloney, 38, of York Road in Crosby, drove through a red light at the junction of Dunnings Bridge Road and Park Lane, Netherton at 12.15pm on 4 December 2021.

He drove his Ford Galaxy car into the path of Joan Cosgrove, who was driving an Audi car. Her elderly mother Margaret Hardacre was in the front passenger seat. She was driving in the direction of the motorway. The traffic lights in her lane were on green. 

Mrs Cosgrove and her mother were taken to Aintree Hospital after the collision. Mrs Hardacre’s injuries were found to be more serious than had originally been thoughts and she sadly died three days later.

Mr Maloney accepted responsibility for the collision at the scene. He told officers that he had seen a traffic light change to green and had thought the light was for him.

He was later charged with causing death by careless driving. He pleaded guilty at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on 28 December 2022. On 2 February 2023, also at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court, he was sentenced to a 12-month community order, ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and banned from driving for a year.

Sentencing, District Judge Paul Healey said: “There is nothing I can do or say regarding the immeasurable loss to the family. This continues to be felt on a daily basis. I am truly sorry for your loss. The driver blames herself but she is totally blameless.”

DJ Healey conceded that Mr Maloney, who has no previous convictions, had co-operated fully with the police and said to him, “There is no way to compare the loss the family have had but I am not in doubt of the impact this has had upon you.”

In a moving Victim Personal Statement read to the court, Joan Cosgrove, talked of the “indescribable pain” she feels every day following the collision. She said this is still “completely raw and difficult to express.”

She added: “Words cannot replace a mum, a Nan, a great grandmother, a sister, an aunty. All that remains now is grief and a lifetime of missing a woman who was, quite simply, the bedrock of our family.”

District Crown Prosecutor Leanne Kennedy, of CPS Mersey Cheshire, said” This is a tragic case, with no winners. I would firstly like to thank the family of the victim for their help. Mrs Cosgrove has been incredibly brave and courageous throughout. She blames herself but, as the judge says, she is totally blameless.

“Mr Maloney clearly didn’t set out on that day to kill someone but his momentary loss of concentration at those traffic lights set in train a tragic sequence of events.

“He has been sentenced but, no doubt, he will carry the consequences of his actions on that day, with him for the rest of his life. Our thoughts remain with the family of the victim.”

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