Driver Hugh Boyle, who killed horse rider in Pilgrims Hatch, given suspended jail term

The family of a woman killed horse riding last year have said they hope the sentence given to the man who caused her death is a warning to other drivers.

Jane Mitchinson, 63, from Brentwood, died in January last year, when Hugh Boyle’s van collided with two horses in Ashwells Road, Pilgrims Hatch.

She died instantly at the scene, while the other rider escaped serious injury. Both horses had to be put down.

Boyle, 52, of Fox Hatch, Kelevedon Hatch, was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, on Thursday last week at Basildon Crown Court.

He had pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.

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As well as the suspended sentence, he has been banned from driving for three years, must complete 300 hours of community service and pay �500 in prosecution costs.

Essex Police’s investigation into the crash found that Boyle did not adjust his driving sufficiently to compensate for bright sunlight at the time and this resulted in his failure to see the horses in the road.

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Jane’s partner Peter Ely and daughter Victoria Mitchinson released a statement this week.

They said: “Nothing will ever be able to bring Jane back or replace the light that has been so senselessly taken from our lives.

“We hope that the sentence passed will act as a reminder of the consequences of driving negligently and the lives it can destroy.

“Although the loss of such a wonderful mother and partner will always be with us, we hope we can now start remembering the intensely happy life we shared together.

“We also know that she will be remembered as the most caring, giving and warm-hearted person by her many friends.

“The family would like to thank Essex Police and in particular Pc Daniel Waller for all the help and care given to us throughout this awful time.”

Senior investigating officer Insp Keith Whiting said: “This case shows drivers must always have the highest level of concentration.

“The consequences of not taking care are massive. I’m sure Mr Boyle lives with the thought of taking a person’s life.”

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