February 11, 2016 - 10:52 AM
KELOWNA – A 72-year-old West Kelowna woman who fatally struck and killed an 83-year-old woman in downtown Kelowna last November was sentenced to probation, community service and a driving suspension in Kelowna provincial court today, Feb. 11.
Sharon Marlene Scott was delivering newspapers at around 1 a.m. Nov. 24 when she ran over Julie Gillespie, who was returning home after a night at the casino in downtown Kelowna. Gllespie died in hospital later that day.
The point of impact, according to police, was between the two front headlights of Scott's car.
Judge Ellen Burdett found her guilty of driving without due care and attention on Jan. 8, after two days in provincial court during which she accepted Scott's claim she left the scene because she did not know she had hit a person.
Crown lawyer Murray Kaay says ordinarily he would recommend a fine but with Scott unable to pay he recommended a suspended sentence with one year of probation, 20 hours of community service and a three-month driving prohibition.
Scott, who cried throughout sentencing, has no criminal record but has been in court for traffic violations.
Since the late 1990s she has received six infractions for failing to wear a seatbelt. She disobeyed a construction zone in 2007 and in 2008 she was issued a warning in West Kelowna for failing to keep right of solid line.
In 2008, she was issued a ticket for driving without reasonable consideration, but that was dismissed by a judge.
"The family has suffered horribly but so has (Scott)," defence lawyer Joe Gordon said. "The (Kelowna Daily Courier) fired her. She is unable to find a job. She's still traumatized by what happened."
When given a chance to speak, Scott broke down and she cried.
"I'm extremely sorry for all the heartache and sorrow for (Gillespie's husband) that I put him and his family and close friends through. It is my wish that one day they can forgive me for the trouble that i've caused the family," she said. "Bad things happen to good people."
Judge Burdett acknowledged her remorse but said the impact of the accident warrants punishment.
"It was a significant lapse in attention," she said. "She struck (the victim) and (she) was dragged under the car. This is not a case where Miss Scott drove a long distance at high rate of speed. in my view the moral blame is at the higher end of prohibited conduct. This sentence is not one being imposed due to the death of (the victim) it's being imposed because of the lack of attention."
Scott was sentenced to probation for one year, 20 hours of community service and a driving prohibition of three months.
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