Death crash nurse who nod­ded off at wheel is spared jail term Woman killed fa­ther-of-eight out­side his house af­ter 50th birthday party

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Jane Tyler Staff Re­porter

A BIRM­ING­HAM nurse who killed a fa­ther-of-eight when she ploughed into him af­ter fall­ing asleep at the wheel has walked free from court.

Gaynor Thomas was driv­ing home from her 50th birthday party in July last year when she nod­ded off and crashed into Dahir Yasin Mo­hammed, crush­ing him be­tween his parked car and a tree out­side his own house.

Birm­ing­ham Crown Court heard that the crash hap­pened just be­fore 5am af­ter Thomas, a se­nior ma­tron, had spent the night at a party in her honour at her lo­cal church hall.

Mr Mo­hammed, aged 49, was killed in­stantly and was found by his wife and some of their eight chil­dren.

He and his wife had moved to Birm­ing­ham from their na­tive So­ma­lia more than 15 years ago.

Thomas, 51, of Court Lane, Erd­ing­ton, pleaded guilty to caus­ing death by care­less driv­ing. But af­ter hear­ing how the ac­ci­dent was a “tragic set of cir­cum­stances”, Judge Philip Parker QC said he would not be send­ing Thomas to prison im­me­di­ately.

In­stead he handed her an eight­month jail term sus­pended for a year. She was also banned from driv­ing for three years.

Ni­cholas Smith, pros­e­cut­ing, said the crash hap­pened on July 9, 2017 in Goose­moor Lane, near the junc­tion with An­stey Field, in Erd­ing­ton.

Mr Mo­hammed was stand­ing at the back of his parked Mercedes Vito peo­ple car­rier when Thomas’s Mercedes B220 sports car hit it. He was trapped be­tween his ve­hi­cle and a tree, and died of mul­ti­ple in­juries.

“His wife saw it all,” said Mr Smith. “Peo­ple try­ing to give her hus­band CPR and then be­ing told that he was dead at the scene.”

Thomas ini­tially claimed she had swerved to avoid some­thing which had run out in front of her, but anal­y­sis of her car and the scene found no ev­i­dence or swerv­ing or brak­ing.

“A po­lice col­li­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tor con­cluded that it was con­sis­tent with her hav­ing fallen asleep at the wheel, and her car drift­ing into the parked ve­hi­cle at about 38mph,” Mr Smith said.

Mal­colm Gal­loway, de­fend­ing, said Thomas had 31 years’ nurs­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and was a se­nior ma­tron work­ing in the com­mu­nity.

On the day of the ac­ci­dent she had been cel­e­brat­ing her 50th birthday at her church’s hall and stayed be­hind to help clear up af­ter­wards. She was in the car with her son and nephew.

“She had not drunk any al­co­hol and was not tired at all,” he said. ”She is a nurse so is used to work­ing long hours. She had a mi­cro-sleep and drifted into the other car.”

Mr Gal­loway gave the court more than 20 tes­ti­mo­ni­als and ref­er­ences from mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, church and med­i­cal pro­fes­sion.

Thomas is cur­rently off work and is also be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Coun­cil and could lose her job be­cause of this con­vic­tion.

> Gaynor Thomas was given a sus­pended sen­tence

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