'Aggressive' danger driver jailed for killing 'thoughtful' grandmother

The family of a loved grandmother of five who was killed by a dangerous driver have vowed to work with police to make the roads safer.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 12:18 pm
Dean Everist has been jailed for causing death by dangerous driving.

Madeline Osborne-Sawyer, 62, was on her way to pick up her grandchildren when she hit head on by a Mercedes in Thorpe Road, Horden, on February 6.

Driver Dean Everist had already narrowly avoided two other cars as he sped along the 40mph road in the wet conditions.

Travelling at more than 70mph, he narrowly avoided crashing into a bollard before hitting Mrs Osborne-Sawyer’s Ford Focus.

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The scene of the fatal crash in Thorpe Road, Horden. Picture by FRANK REID

Despite the best efforts of the emergency services, Mrs Osborne-Sawyer’s injuries were so severe that she was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

Everist failed a roadside drugs test and was arrested for causing death by dangerous driving.

Everist’s rear tyre was also underinflated, which would have failed an MOT test which was due just two days after the incident.

Sentencing him at Durham Crown Court on Thursday after he eventually admitted the offence, Judge James Adkin called Everist’s driving “impetuous and aggressive” and noted he had not shown remorse.

He jailed the 44-year-old, of Fifth Street, Horden, for 44 months and banned him from driving for 46 months.

Mrs Osborne-Sawyer’s family attended court where a victim impact statement from her son, Lawrence, was read out.

“My mam was the kindest, most thoughtful, hard working woman you will ever meet,” Mr Sawyer said.

“The night mam was killed I didn't want to shut my eyes and go to sleep as I knew when I woke it was going to be the first day for the rest of my life I had to live without her.”

He added: “My mam would never speed (not even 1mph over), she was careful, she was safe. The day she was killed she had done nothing wrong.

“From day one I just wanted Dean Everist, the man who killed my mam, to accept what he had done and take some responsibility, even tell us he was sorry. Accept what the police evidence said he had done, but he wouldn't.”

Mr Sawyer has vowed to use his story to educate others on road safety, adding: “My mam should not have died that day. If Dean Everist had been safe and slow this would not have happened.

“I hope my story will educate others, and hopefully make the roads a safer place.

"I want to help make it safer for others. This is the least I can do for my mam and I think she would be proud.”

Roads Policing Inspector Kevin Salter, of Durham Police, praised Mrs Osbourne-Sawyer’s family for their courage throughout the court process.

He said: “Mrs Osbourne-Sawyer was a loving grandmother who was on her way to pick up her grandchildren. She was a safe driver and should have arrived safely but due to the selfish actions of Everist, she never saw her family again.

“This has been a heart-breaking case, made worse by Everist’s lack of remorse and I would urge all drivers to think twice about their manner of driving and to make sure their vehicles are roadworthy.

“Mrs Osbourne-Sawyer’s family have shown an incredible amount of courage since the day of the incident and we are grateful they are sharing their story to help educate others.”

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