A mother's "worst nightmare" came true when the young man who was responsible for the death of her daughter was spared jail time.
Cheryl Hussain read her victim impact statement to the court, hoping for justice: "Our lives have been torn apart and nothing will ever be the same again.”
Two weeks after passing his driver's test, Jack Thomas, now 20, went to pick up his friend, Talaina Hussain, 18, from work. He was driving his mother's car at high speed on a road that had a 30 miles per hour limit. When he went to make a sharp turn, the car skid and went straight into someone's house.
Unfortunately, the passenger side was heavily damaged, leaving Talaina with a serious brain injury that left her on life support.
Hussain's dreams of studying psychology at Edge Hill University all came crashing down when her family made the decision to end her life support, only two days after the accident.
"I knew in my heart I was going to lose my baby girl and that I wasn’t going home with her that night and things were never going to be the same again," she said.
Thomas pleaded guilty to a charge of death by careless driving, but still managed to escape jail time...
Thomas's defense lawyer argued that as a young driver and someone with no prior convictions, a jail sentence was too harsh of a punishment.
"His suffering is in no way equal to that of the family of Ms. Hussain, but he suffers nonetheless," he said. “He counted himself among her friends and he will have to live with the action he took and the results for the rest of his life.”
Judge Angela Nield agreed with the defense and suspended Thomas's sentence of 26 weeks in jail. While receiving this news, Thomas was described as "emotionless."
"Jack Thomas went out that evening a very young driver and many parents will recognize the worry when a driver goes out shortly after passing their test," Nield said.
He was also disqualified from driving for a year and ordered to pay approximately $1,200 in compensation and to fulfill 280 hours of community service work.
The young girl's mother was outraged, and screamed at Thomas: "I hope my daughter haunts your dreams!"
"It has left an impact that you cannot describe. We have gone from a unit of five to four and I don’t know if it will ever sink in. I still expect her to come walking through the door at 10 p.m. like she had just finished work," she said in a statement. "She was so much more than just a daughter and a sister and her death has left a huge whole in all our lives. Talaina was an amazing, loving girl and we are all lost without her. Her life was just beginning when it was cruelly snatched from us. All I want is my princess back."
Do you think the judge made the right call?
[Source: Daily Mail / Manchester Evening News]