1. ITV Report

Brierley lorry crash death: four men jailed for over 48 years for causing death by dangerous driving

Four men who were in an out-of-control stolen lorry which killed a pedestrian have been jailed for more than 48 years.

Flowers left near the scene where a lorry crashed into a house and killed a woman in Brierley, Yorkshire, in September 2018 Credit: Press Association

The men were sentenced following the death of mother-of-two Jacqueline Wileman, 58, who died instantly when she was hit by the vehicle in the village of Brierley, near Barnsley, on September 14 last year.

Jacqueline Wileman died when she was hit by the stolen lorry while out power-walking. Credit: South Yorkshire Police

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told Sheffield Crown Court that Mrs Wileman was a wholly innocent victim who had been taking her usual "power walk" through the village when she was struck by the lorry which was travelling at 55mph.

Judge Richardson said the men had spent the day riding in the lorry, laughing and joking as the HGV was driven dangerously around South Yorkshire for hours.

Each one of you played a pivotal role in this protracted, persistent, determined and highly dangerous criminal escapade.

You gave not a thought to the safety of others and exposed many people to the risk of death and serious injury whilst you executed what you thought was a caper but, in truth, was an exceptionally malevolent course of conduct which had an inevitable disastrous and catastrophic conclusion.

You killed an innocent pedestrian and nearly killed a cyclist in the dreadful events in the village of Brierley.

It is nothing short of chance that more people were not killed or maimed by your conduct.

– Judge Jeremy Richardson QC
Karn Hill (driver) and Wayne Carroll Credit: South Yorkshire Police

The driver of the vehicle, Karn Hill, 23, of East View, Cudworth, South Yorkshire, admitted causing death by dangerous driving before the trial and was jailed on Thursday for 10 and a half years.

Three other men denied the same charge but were found guilty by a jury on Wednesday.

Wayne Carroll, 29, of Chestnut Street, Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire, was jailed for 12-and-a-half years.

Alan Wawhinney and David Mellor Credit: South Yorkshire Police

Alan Mawhinney, 53, of Calder Crescent, Kendray, South Yorkshire, was jailed for 12-and-a-half years.

David Mellor, 48, of Bank End Road, Worsbrough Dale, South Yorkshire, was jailed for 13 years.

The judge heard that Carroll has a previous conviction for causing death by dangerous driving.

The trial jury heard that the lorry had been stolen days earlier by Mellor from his employers.

On the day of Mrs Wileman's death, three of the men had taken it on a "joyride" around various locations, stealing fuel from garages as they went.

Carroll joined them later.

Judge Richardson said: "During the morning, all three of you were involved in stealing fuel and encouraging Hill to drive exceptionally badly.

"I accept all of the evidence that has been adduced in the trial that you were all laughing and joking.

"Each one of you was enjoying what you thought was a joyride in a very large HGV tractor unit.

"I make it clear, there was nothing joyful about your criminal conduct."

The court heard that, as the lorry approached the village, it was spotted by a police officer who began to follow it.

But the judge said the officer was not chasing the vehicle and attached no blame to the police.

Three of the four defendants tried to flee the scene but were detained, some with the help of angry locals who were praised by Judge Richardson.

The newly-built house in which the lorry became embedded has had to be demolished.

The jury was shown graphic CCTV footage of what prosecutors described as the "utter carnage" in the village.

The court heard that Carroll had been jailed for 27 months in 2015 for causing the death of a 25-year-old pedestrian who was crossing a road in the village of Havercroft, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Mellor also had a conviction for dangerous driving and assaulting a police officer relating to a five-mile police chase in 2010.

The reckless actions of Karn Hill ended in terrible tragedy.

Mellor, Mawhinney and Carroll allowed themselves to be passengers in a vehicle they knew to be stolen which was being driven dangerously. They made no attempt to intervene.

The length of the sentences imposed on all four defendants today reflects the severity of their criminality and its profoundly tragic consequences.

Our thoughts remain with Jacqueline’s friends and family as they have been throughout.

– Catherine Ainsworth, CPS