Driver who was on phone jailed for nine years over crash that left elderly couple dead

The family of two pensioners killed by a dangerous driver have described their “horror” that the couple’s remaining years were “stolen from them” as the motorist was jailed on Friday.

On Friday, Patricia Pringle, 56, was convicted at Leicester Crown Court of dangerous driving after killing Clive Jones, 89, and his wife Elaine, 82, by colliding into their car while using a phone as she was driving near Barrowden, Rutland, in May 2022.

Pringle, of Park Vale Road, Spinney Hill, Leicester, was sentenced to nine years in prison and banned from driving for five years after her release.

Leicestershire Police said she was on a call while driving her Volkswagen Golf and swerved onto the wrong side of the A47 and collided head-on with the couple’s Fiat Qubo.

Mr and Mrs Jones were pronounced dead at the scene.

In May 2024, Pringle pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of possession of cannabis

In a statement, the family of Mr and Mrs Jones called the couple “extraordinary people” who lived to “full capacity”.

They said: “The shock, horror, and disbelief of their deaths remains with so many people – their family, friends and their community.

“As a family, we will never not know how they died, the extent of their injuries, and the trauma of being informed of their deaths and the days, months and years that followed.

“Their remaining years were stolen from them and from us. We never had the chance to say goodbye. We miss them each day and in so many ways.

“That they died together is a blessing as they did everything together in life.”

Detective Constable Emma Mitchell, from the serious collision investigation unit, said: “Throughout the investigation, Pringle appeared to show very little remorse for her actions. However, I’m pleased she faced up to what she’d done.

“While no sentence is going to bring Clive and Elaine back, I hope today’s outcome allows their loved ones to feel that justice has been done and provides a degree of closure to them.

“There’s a reason why using a mobile phone while driving can result in points on your licence.

“I would like to think this case serves as a stark warning to road users who think it’s acceptable to do so that their actions can have fatal consequences.”