Man who 'had no right to be behind the wheel' is jailed over collision that killed two elderly friends

Man who 'had no right to be behind the wheel' is jailed over collision that killed two elderly friends

A MAN who prosecutors say 'had no right to be behind the wheel' due to an eye condition has been jailed after his car collided with two elderly friends, killing them both.

Glyn Jones, 68, had been advised several times that his eyesight was below the legal standard to drive before the collision in Southport, Merseyside on November 30, 2021.

Marie Cunningham, 79, and Grace Foulds, 85, were crossing the road when an Audi driven by Jones collided with them, causing multiple catastrophic injuries.

The two women, who were good friends and regulars at St Joseph's Catholic Church in Southport, passed away later that day.

At Liverpool Crown Court on Friday, Jones was sentenced to seven years and four months in prison, having earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Eye condition

Ms Foulds and Ms Cunningham had been out for the day in Southport and were making their way home when the tragedy occurred.

The two women were crossing Lulworth Road at around 4.35pm when Jones' car collided with them as he made his way into Southport.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Jones, of Blackgate Lane in Tarleton, told the first witness on the scene that the women had 'stepped off the kerb to his left'.

However, they had in fact walked from the driver's right to left and had crossed three quarters of the road when they were struck.

The CPS added that Jones was seen to apply the brakes only after the collision.

After police arrived, Jones tested negative for drink and drugs but later failed a roadside eye test.

Glyn Jones failed to inform the DVLA of an eye condition (Image: Merseyside Police)

Investigations showed that Jones had an eye condition called keratoconus, which had been diagnosed 10 years before.

Merseyside Police said he had been advised several times by opticians and his GP that his eyesight fell far below the legal standard to drive.

However, he continued to do so, failing to inform the DVLA or his insurers of his condition.

An expert optometrist concluded that without any correction, Jones' eyesight would have been so poor 'that he would not have managed to see the steering wheel of his vehicle clearly'.

The CPS said Jones was believed to have been wearing an old contact lens at the time of the incident as he had not yet collected new prescription lenses.

However, an optometrist had told him that even with the new lenses, his eyesight still fell way below the legal standard to drive.

At his sentencing on Friday, Jones was also disqualified from driving for five years, with an extended period of four years and 10 months, and must do an extended retest before he can drive again.

'Beautiful mum'

"His lies and recklessness caused the tragic deaths of Mary Cunningham and Grace Foulds, which have left their families devastated," prosecutor Eve Johnson said of Jones after the sentencing.

"He has shown no remorse at all for what happened on that day.

"He had no right to be behind a wheel and has now been jailed for what he did.

"Our thoughts remain with the families of Mary Cunningham and Grace Foulds."

The family of great-grandmother Ms Cunningham also slammed Jones, accusing him of failing to cooperate with the investigation and only recently pleading guilty due to the overwhelming evidence against him.

They added: "On the 30th November 2021 we lost a woman that cared more about helping her friend across the road than getting herself home, doing what she did best, helping others.

"Over the last two years, we have lived and breathed the trauma, grief, frustration, anxiety, but most of all, the sadness and loss of our beautiful mum.

"Because of Jones' neglect our lives will be forever changed by that moment in time.

"Mum's life was taken away and ours was ripped apart."

A statement from Ms Foulds' daughter added: "It has taken over two years to get the justice that my mother Grace Foulds, and her friend deserve, after a very tragic and unnecessary death."