Belfast Telegraph

Margaret Saunders to be sentenced for road death of grandson Jackson

By Ashleigh McDonald

A Co Antrim pensioner has been told she will be sentenced in the New Year for causing a collision that claimed the life of her seven-year-old grandson.

Margaret Saunders (72) appeared at Belfast Crown Court where she admitted causing the youngster's death by careless driving.

Jackson Turner died in his parents' arms in hospital just hours after the three-car collision on the Old Carrick Road in Newtownabbey on Boxing Day 2015.

Earlier this year, Mrs Saunders, who was also injured in the crash, denied causing Jackson's death by dangerous driving.

Saunders, from Forthill Park in Newtownabbey, was due to stand trial this week.

However, she was re-arraigned yesterday, and after a court clerk asked how she pleaded, Saunders replied: "Not guilty to dangerous driving, guilty of careless driving."

A Crown barrister told Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland that the Crown was accepting the plea.

A pre-sentence report will be compiled on Saunders, whose son is Jackson's father, ahead of next month's sentencing.

Also compiled will be Victim Impact Reports which will set out the effect the Sunnylands Primary School pupil's death has had on his loved ones.

As a result of yesterday's plea, Saunders was informed she had been banned from driving.

The Co Antrim woman was released on continuing bail and will be sentenced on January 26.

Belfast Telegraph

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