Bereaved family’s disgust as young driver sentenced

Jordan Clayton
Jordan Clayton
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The family of a Chorley girl killed alongside her friend during a collision in a car driven by a young driver expressed “disgust” at his community sentence.

Jordan Clayton, 20, admitted causing the deaths of two teenage girls by careless driving.

He was handed 150 hours unpaid work for causing death by careless driving after a collision that claimed the lives of Jade Pickering and Tia Guye, both 16.

The students at Runshaw College in Leyland, who both lived on Eaves Lane, Chorley, were described in court as being bright, bubbly and popular.

Speaking outside Bolton Crown Court on Friday, Jade’s mum Nicola Pickering, said she was “disgusted” with the result.

She said: “As a family we are devastated and disgusted at this shambles of a trial.

“They say British justice is envied all over the world, but all we can honestly ask is why?”

Clayton had earlier been unanimously cleared of causing death by dangerous driving after he pulled in front of a coach on the A6 Blackrod bypass on September 2009.

Sentencing him for causing death by careless driving, which he had earlier pleaded guilty to, His Honour Judge Everett said there had been a number of failures by the CPS and the police in the case which meant it was only able to be brought to an end two-and-half years after the tragedy.

The judge said: “My firm view is they failed the family in this case, they failed the defendant, and what they have ultimately done is fail the community.”

He slammed the CPS and Greater Manchester Police for failing to investigate further evidence which showed coach driver Kevin Morton had received a 30-second phone call in the minutes before the crash.

He went on to criticise the CPS for providing statements to the media after an adjournment in July, last year which suggested the adjournment had been sought by defence solicitors.

Judge Everett said: “The delay has caused untold misery not just for you (Clayton), but of course for the families of all the young girls, two of whom will never be seen by their families again,”

In a victim impact statement read out in court, Nicola Hartley, the mother of Tia Guye, who attended St Michael’s High School, said: “Tia was well loved, someone who had strong views, and liked everything to be fair. She was never a confrontational girl and had hopes of becoming a psychiatric nurse.

“We are truly devastated by the loss and miss her every day.”

Clayton was given a 12 month community order and told to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

He was also disqualified from driving for two years.

*See the Chorley and Leyland Guardian on Wednesday for more on this story.