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Ian Harvey loses appeal against sentence for causing death by careless driving

By Lynn Cox

Mrs Hayward, 56, from Chatham, died when the 24-year-old crashed into the car she was travelling in in December 2015.

Ian Harvey. Picture Kent Police

Ian Harvey. Picture: Kent Police

Mrs Hayward suffered fatal injuries in the smash when Harvey, a solider, lost control of his Ford Fiesta as he sped over a hill in Lower Road, Higham.

He admitted causing the death of Mrs Hayward by careless driving, but was cleared of causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving at Maidstone Crown Court in May.

He was discharged from the Army after his conviction.

Maidstone Crown Court heard Harvey confessed at the scene of the crash that it was his fault.

Harvey, formerly of Burdett Avenue, Gravesend, lost control of his vehicle and hit a Ford Focus travelling in the opposite direction which contained Mrs Hayward, her husband, his brother Mark and his wife Christine.

Susan Hayward

Susan Hayward

At the Appeal Court in London, Harvey tried to get his sentence cut, with his legal team saying the two-year sentence was far too harsh and should be reduced and that he had promising military career ahead of him.

However, appeal judges disagreed and dismissed the application stating the sentence was not “manifestly excessive”.

Mr Hayward, of King George Road, Chatham, was shocked to hear Harvey had attempted to get his sentence cut.

Speaking exclusively to the Medway Messenger, Mr Hayward, who suffered serious injuries himself along with his brother Mark, said: “He only got two years. What he did affects us for the rest of our lives. He should have got more.

“He will only serve 12 months and will be out after Christmas. I am shocked by this. I never knew until I was told by this newspaper. No one informed us about this.

The crash happened on a hump in the road on Lower Road, Higham

The crash happened on a hump in the road on Lower Road, Higham

“I am disgusted and upset. My whole family are. We are still grieving.

“I have just been written off [work] by the doctor for another year. My brother will never be able to drive a manual car again and can’t do manual labour because of his injuries.

“We have been left devastated by Susan’s death. We go to her grave every day. My father-in-law, her dad, he’s 82 and waits every morning for the gates to open at the cemetery so he can go and see her.

“No one told us about this at all but I am glad the judges reached the right decision on the appeal. They got it right 100%.

Susan's husband Anthony is still receiving treatment and being seriously injured during the crash

Susan's husband Anthony is still receiving treatment and being seriously injured during the crash

“He was a mechanic in the Army and had not long joined, so I think he was trying to milk the position he had.

“Our lives with never be the same again. It hits you when you are on your own at night how lonely we all are.

“It is disgusting him trying get his sentence cut. Susan and I were childhood sweethearts, he should be ashamed of himself.

“After he got locked up he wrote a letter of apology but it was too little, too late. I told the police to shred it.”

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