'Too fat for prison' crash driver jailed

Linda Jenns

A motorist who pleaded to be spared a prison sentence for killing a pedestrian on account of her weight has been jailed for 30 months.
Morbidly obese Linda Jenns killed jogger Paul Stinton after she ran a red light in her Ford Kuga, near a retail park in Kent in January last year.

The 49-year-old was found guilty of killing Mr Stinton, a 45-year-old father-of-four, through dangerous driving.

However, prior to sentencing, Jenns' barrister, Ian Bridge, argued that she should not be sent to prison, as she would be unlikely to cope due to being "grossly overweight".

He said: "She is a person for whom a prison sentence would be extraordinarily difficult and I don't think I exaggerate when I say she might not get through it."

However, the mitigation argument was dismissed and Jenns was given a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence.

The 30-stone driver had originally pleaded not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, and had claimed Mr Stinton had crossed the road against a red pedestrian light.

Dismissing her version of events, the Telegraph reports Judge Heather Norton as saying: " Mr Stinton's actions did not contribute significantly to the likelihood of a collision. The collision came about because you drove through a red light. It is that simple.

"You were driving too fast for the wet conditions and you jumped the lights."

Despite using Jenns' weight as mitigation, Mr Bridge told Canterbury Crown Court that media coverage of the case had caused her to be subjected to "the modern-day equivalent of the stocks".

He said: "She will never live this down in any way. She lives with what she's done every day but the photos and statements in the press were peculiarly harmful."

Mr Stinton died in hospital three weeks after the collision.

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