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Family left shattered by gran's death.

Byline: PHILIP DEWEY Reporter

THE husband of a beloved grandmother told a court his family's lives had been "shattered forever" following her death in a collision with a HGV.

Barbara Rowe, 60, was killed after her Vauxhall Mokka was struck from behind by a Mercedes Actros 2545 HGV driven by Grant Webster on the A4232 in Cardiff. Mrs Rowe, of Pen-y-Fai, Bridgend, suffered catastrophic injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene on May 29 last year.

CCTV footage shown to a sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday showed the HGV driven by Webster hitting the back of Mrs Rowe's Vauxhall which shunted into a Renault Clio in front of her which in turn shunted a tanker in front of it, causing the Clio to overturn onto its roof.

The Vauxhall and the cars in front of it were almost static at the time of the collision with traffic queuing for the slip road at Culverhouse Cross. In the aftermath of the collision, Webster, of Leicester, got out of his vehicle and tried to assist Mrs Rowe. The 28-year-old told others who arrived at the scene "I didn't see her, it's my fault".

He later told police there was little he could have done to avoid the collision and described it as an "accident" but he later pleaded guilty and was jailed for causing death by careless driving.

In a statement written by Mrs Rowe's husband Paul Rowe, read to the court by his brother Martin Rowe, he described how Mrs Rowe's death had impacted her family.

He said: "On May 29, 2018, our lives were shattered forever. Not only have we lost a much loved wife, mother, and grandmother, we have lost our best friend and the bedrock of the family.

"My wife always put our family first and her love for her sons and grandchildren was unquestionable. Family life and our home were the most important things to her and becoming grandparents for the first time was a joyous occasion for both of us."

He added: "The lives we've been compiling together for our twilight years has been taken away. My wife will never see her sons and their families grow up and we will never grow old together. We have been given a life sentence and the house has fallen silent.

"During the day I smile through gritted teeth and I cry into my pillow at night. We were informed the driver was highly trained and experienced but he could not account for his actions. This is not acceptable, he has taken the life of my wife."

In a letter addressed to Mrs Rowe's family, read out to the court by defence barrister Charles Row, Webster said: "There are no words to describe how sorry I am for the pain and suffering I have caused to Mrs Rowe's family. There's not a day goes by when I don't think about that day and Mrs Rowe losing her life. I am forever sorry."

Sentencing, the Recorder of Cardiff, Judge Eleri Rees, said no sentence the court could pass would be able to reflect the pain andgrief of Mrs Rowe's family. She said: "This collision was entirely and solely your fault."

Webster, of Weaver Road, Leicester, was sentenced to 36 weeks imprisonment and was disqualified from driving for two years. Speaking after the hearing, Mrs Rowe's husband Paul said the family felt justice had been served.


Grant Webster

Barbara Rowe

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 16, 2019
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