Woman driver, 31, who mowed down nurse while high on cocaine is spared jail in case her mental health 'deteriorated'

A DRUG driver who mowed down a nurse and left her with severe brain damage has been spared jail after a judge accepted that her mental health would ''deteriorate'' if she went to prison.

Clare Cassidy was under the influence of cocaine when she hit Yasmin Jenkins,  while driving her BMW 118D at 63mph in a 30mph zone. 

Miss Jenkins, 29, had been out running with her boyfriend to raise money for the NHS when the tragic incident took place. 

The nursery nurse was thrown into the air by the force of the impact despite a desperate attempt by partner Philip Mott to save her – with Cassidy shouting “I can’t believe I hit her!”. 

She was left in a coma for three weeks after suffering multiple serious injuries including a fractured skull, bleeding to the brain and fractured left ankle and has been left struggling to walk and had to learn to write again.

Cassidy, 31, from Didsbury, Manchester, had been using her phone at the wheel of the car just before the accident and failed to slow down. 

Minshull Street Crown court heard that Miss Jenkins had to have a hole drilled into her skull to drain the area, and the crash caused damage to her whole right side.

Miss Jenkins from Stockport, was forced to move her bed into the kitchen and didn’t remember her own home after the collision. 

In a statement she said: “I will not fully recover from my injuries. Three parts of my brain have been damaged. I struggle to remember things.

“I am unable to get up and walk without a crutch. I am still unbalanced and need someone to help me.I am unable to walk very far. People stare at me.

“It’s put a strain on the relationship with my partner. I am upset and distressed that this has happened to me. I have lost so much that I set out to do. 

“Since the accident, I have been unable to return to work. I have heard it might take five years to recover. I can’t get back this time of my life.”

Her partner, Mr Mott added: “When I think about it, I feel very upset and break down. I wish it had happened to me and not Yas. I’m taking prescription medication for PTSD brought on by this incident.”

Cassidy admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and was sentenced to two years jail, suspended for 18 months.

Prosecutor Helena Williams told the court that the couple had been out running when  Mr Mott crossed the road and waited for Miss Jenkins to follow on April 18 2020 on Styal Road in Gatley.

She added: “The black BMW hit Miss Jenkins to her left buttocks and thigh and witnesses described seeing Miss Jenkins flying in the air. 

“She landed on the pavement face down and there was something like a loud cracking noise. A piece of the car came off and hit Mr Mott.”

Cassidy was found to have 186 micrograms of benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 50mg.

Investigators said Cassidy, who is now drug free, first saw Miss Jenkins when she was 80 metres away and had no chance of avoiding her due to her excessive speed.

In mitigation defence counsel Oliver Jarvis said: ''She is not seeking sympathy – there is no self-pity here. There is no danger to the public. She is deeply, deeply sorry for what she did that day.”

Sentencing the judge Mr Recorder Robert Lazarus told Cassidy: “If you had been driving at a safe and reasonable speed, no collision would have taken place.

"In other circumstances, your driving could quite easily have led to her death. It is really only luck from your perspective that she is still alive today.

“But you have a history of long-term mental health problems and I accept you are genuinely remorseful. I also note your mental health problems may deteriorate if sent to prison. ''

Cassidy was also ordered to complete 120 hours unpaid work and was banned from driving for three years.

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