Widow tells killer driver: “You will suffer least” after death of former Heysham man

Andrew Charlton and his son Oscar.
Andrew Charlton and his son Oscar.
Have your say

A grieving widow told a killer driver he would be the one who suffers least after he was jailed for smashing into her husband as he was out cycling.

Father-of-three Andrew Jarrod Charlton, 43, who grew up in Heysham, had been out pedalling on the A6079 near Chollerford when he was hit by Neil Urwin, 56, sending him flying over the car.

Oscar with twins Eleanor and Chloe.

Oscar with twins Eleanor and Chloe.

Mr Charlton, who had given up his job to look after his son Oscar who has cystic fibrosis, suffered “catastrophic brain injuries” and later died in hospital.

Newcastle Crown Court had heard that just the day before Urwin had been told not drive as he had been suffering from a sleep disorder, leaving him tired all the time.

Urwin had admitted causing death by careless driving in August last year but denied causing death by dangerous driving.

But after six hours of deliberating the jury found him guilty of the more serious charge.

Reading out her victim impact statement, Mr Charlton’s wife Katy tearfully described him as a “passionate, driven and strong willed man” and said he loved cycling in Northumberland.

She said he had taken a career break to care for their two-year-old son Oscar,, while she looked after their 10-week old twins.

Speaking directly to Urwin, she said: “Shame on you, if you had followed that advice and not driven that day Andy would still be alive.

“I like to imagine that you are a decent man who made a foolish decision, a decision you will live with for the rest of your life. You will always be the one who suffers least.”

Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said the stretch of road had given Urwin a 327-metre unrestricted view before the point of impact.

He said: “Either Mr Urwin was nodding off at the wheel before he saw Mr Charlton at the last minute or he was simply so tired he was not able to concentrate properly as he drove along the road.”

Jailing Urwin for two years and banning him from driving for three years, Judge John Milford QC said he agreed with Mrs Charlton that Urwin would still be the one who suffered least.

In a statement after the hearing, the family of Mr Charlton urged road users to take extra care behind the wheel and to take extra care around vulnerable road users.

Andrew grew up in Heysham with his parents, Andrea and Peter and sister, Amanda until he was 13 when the family bought Hornby Post Office and moved to the Lune Valley.

He attended St Peter’s Primary School and Heysham High School.

He helped save the lives of five people after hisorgans were donated.

In the late 90s and early 2000s, Andy was a key figure in the progressive house dance music scene, working at Unique Distributionand 3 Beat.

As Andy Jarrod he gigged with Welsh DJ and producer Sasha.