Driver who showed 'very little remorse' after killing elderly couple in head-on crash jailed

Photo of Elaine and Clive Jones
-Credit: (Image: Leicestershire Police)

A Leicester driver killed an “extraordinary” elderly couple in a head-on crash while using her phone at the wheel. Patricia Pringle showed “very little remorse” for her actions after the collision, police said.

Pringle, of Park Vale Road, Spinney Hills, was driving her blue Volkswagen Golf on the A47 at Barrowden, in Rutland, in May 2022 when the car went onto the opposite side of the road and crashed into a silver Fiat Qubo. The impact killed the Fiat’s occupants, 89-year-old Clive Jones and his wife, Elaine, 82. Pringle, then 54, was hospitalised with a broken arm.

Investigations by Leicestershire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU) soon uncovered problems with Pringle’s driving. Eyewitnesses claimed Pringle had implied she had been on her phone at the time of the crash. Police found evidence showing she was making a phone call at the time of the fatal incident.

READ MORE: Police issue update on stabbing in Narborough Road area of Leicester

Pringle was subsequently charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving - but officers said she showed “little remorse” for her actions. In May this year, Pringle admitted the two charges, as well as a single count of possession of the Class B drug cannabis. She appeared at Leicester Crown Court today (Friday, June 21) where she was handed a nine-year jail term.

Mugshot of Patricia Pringle
Patricia Pringle admitted to killing the couple earlier this year -Credit:Leicestershire Police

The court also banned 56-year-old Pringle from driving for five years. The ban will come into effect upon her release. Pringle will have to pass an extended retest before she can get behind the wheel again.

Clive and Elaine’s children paid tribute to the Uppingham couple in the wake of Pringe’s sentencing, saying their deaths had been “totally avoidable”. They said: “Our parents were extraordinary people. Every day was lived to full capacity. They both had such wide and varied interests, and belonged to, and led, a variety of different groups and societies. They also warmly welcomed all to their home.

Black and white photo of Elaine and Clive Jones in their youth
Elaine and Clive Jones -Credit:Leicestershire Police

“The shock, horror, and disbelief of their deaths remains with so many people – their family, friends and their community. The police have worked for over two years for justice to be served on the totally avoidable killing of our parents."

The family said the couple met and married in Malaya in the 1960s. Mr Jones's "incredible knowledge of the geology of Malaya, Iran, and Botswana were rewarded not only by the Malayan government with an Order of the Defender of the Realm (Ahli Mangku Negara or AMN) but also by the British government with an OBE", they added.

Photo of Elaine and Clive Jones
Elaine and Clive were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash -Credit:Leicestershire Police

The family added: “As a family, we will never not know how they died, the extent of their injuries and the trauma of being informed of their deaths, and the days, months and years that followed. Their remaining years were stolen from them and from us. We never had the chance to say goodbye. We miss them each day and in so many ways."

Detective Constable Emma Mitchell, from the SCIU, said: “Throughout the investigation, Pringle appeared to show very little remorse for her actions. However, I’m pleased she faced up to what she’d done.

“There’s a reason why using a mobile phone while driving can result in points on your licence. I would like to think this case serves as a stark warning to road users who think it’s acceptable to do so that their actions can have fatal consequences.”

We are now bringing you the latest updates on WhatsApp first