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Widow ‘glad’ killer driver sent to prison

Frank Wrathall

Frank Wrathall

The widow of a cyclist killed by a motorist talking on his mobile phone has welcomed the jail term handed out by a judge.

Anne Fingleton was at Liverpool Crown Court to see former racing driver Frank Wrathall sent to prison for 21 months after pleading guilty to causing the death of her husband Paul by careless driving.

“We are happy he has got a prison sentence,” she said at home in Fulwood. “That’s what we wanted. It’s not going to change anything. We are still devastated by what has happened. But I’m glad he has gone to prison and I know a lot of Paul’s friends will be. It was the right decision.”

Chartered accountant Paul Fingleton, 47, suffered devastating head and spinal injuries when he was knocked off his bike by Wrathall’s van at the Broughton roundabout as he cycled home from watching his 14-year-old daughter Hannah play tennis. He died hours later in hospital.

Wrathall, 27, a successful British Touring Car Championship driver from Barnacre, near Garstang, admitted talking on his phone to model Zara Watt at the time of the accident. He was driving a Citroen van towing his racing car.

Judge Mark Brown told him: “You had a flagrant disregard for the law which led to the premature and tragic death of Mr Fingleton. You have deprived Mr Fingleton of a full life and have taken away from his family the continuous love, affection and compassion that he would have given them.”

Mrs Fingleton told the Evening Post: “The judge summed it up perfectly. Anything less than a prison sentence would have been difficult to deal with really.

“I wasn’t looking at him when he was sentenced. I have no feelings towards him, just a kind of indifference.

“We have just got to get on with things now. It doesn’t give us closure, although I’m happy it has come to a conclusion, because it has taken so long.”

 

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