LONDON (Reuters) - A motorist who ploughed into a cyclist while sending a text from her mobile phone was jailed for four years on Friday.
Hotel manager Keira Coultas crashed into Jordan Wickington after the cyclist jumped a red light at a junction in Southampton in February last year.
The 25-year-old mother from Hythe, near Southampton, had been answering a text message from her estranged husband at the time, a court had heard.
Wickington, 19, a builder from Netley Abbey, near Southampton, died later in hospital from his injuries.
Coultas was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing at Southampton Crown Court.
Sergeant Alyson West said she hoped the sentence would deter drivers who continue to “flout the law” by using their mobile phones while driving.
“The sentence sends out the message to drivers who use their mobile phones while driving that, if they are involved in a serious crash, they stand a high chance of being sent to prison,” she said in a statement.
”The answer is quite simple: don’t use your mobile phone and drive. Turn it off. Nothing is so important that it can’t wait until you stop or arrive safely at your destination.
“It is a purely selfish act and is so simple to avoid.”
Motorists face a 60-pound fine and three points on their licence if caught using a mobile phone while driving.
Coultas had denied the charge.
Reporting by Avril Ormsby; Editing by Steve Addison