A 62-YEAR-OLD wheelchair-bound woman from Huddersfield has been jailed after causing the deaths of a six-year-old girl and her grandmother by drink driving.
Leeds Crown Court heard how Susan Harty, a grandmother herself, "wished she was dead" after the crash in which Hannah Buck, of Whitby, and her grandmother Marion Little, of Sleights, North Yorkshire, died just before Christmas 2000.
The court heard how Harty, of St Mary's Lane, Kirkheaton, was driving a Vauxhall Corsa on the A169 near Whitby when it crossed the white line and collided head on with Mrs Little's Nissan Micra.
Mrs Little, 52, and Hannah were killed instantly.
Hannah's brother, two-year- old Harry, was thrown through the sunroof of the car and suffered a broken arm, dislocated shoulder and scars to his face.
Her sister, one-year-old Emma-Leigh, broke both her legs while remaining strapped into her car seat.
Simon Healey, prosecuting, told the court Harty had given a blood-alcohol sample, which recorded 120 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood straight after the crash - but calculations suggested she would have given a reading of between 156 and 180 milligrams at the time of the impact.
The legal limit is 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres.
Harty was jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Paul Higgins, for Harty, told the judge she had said "she wished she was dead" following the crash.
Mr Higgins added: "She felt that the only reason she was kept alive after the accident was so that she can be punished."
Mr Higgins pleaded with the judge to suspend any prison sentence saying she had only a small chance of ever walking again following the crash and a prison term would dash that hope.
He told the court: "It is a complete mystery to her as to how her blood contained such levels of intoxication."
Mr Higgins said Harty, a former alcoholic, did not recall the accident.
He stressed her lapse of concentration was "momentary and inadvertent rather than being deliberate and prolonged."
He handed to the judge a large number of references and said that Harty had spent her life devoted to charitable work, mainly helping disadvantaged children.
At a previous hearing, Harty admitted two counts of causing death by driving without due care and attention having consumed alcohol above the prescribed limit.
But Judge Ian Dobkin said he had no choice but to jail Harty. He sentenced her to 30 months in prison and banned her from driving for five years.
Judge Dobkin said: "The result of the crash is that a family is deprived of a six-year-old child and a mother, the child's grandmother."
He said the family "had had the misfortune of being on the same road as you being in the condition you then were."
Harty was wheeled from the court by a security guard, showing little emotion as members of her family sitting in the public gallery burst into tears.
Members of the Buck family, who were also in court, showed little emotion following the sentence.