Epileptic mother causes three vehicle crash

Newcastle court buildingsEpileptic mother causes three vehicle crash
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A 39-year-old mother suffering from epilepsy caused a three vehicle smash when she suffered a fit behind the wheel of a car she should never have been driving.

Shelley Law, who had just a provisional licence, suffered a seizure after she took her boyfriend’s Peugeot without his permission to go on a shopping trip.

Newcastle Crown Court heard her vehicle smashed into a Citroen containing a family of four, who all suffered slight whiplash, including a two-year-old toddler who was left ‘scared, screaming in pain and in shock’.

Law’s vehicle then smashed into a gas works van, which was parked on the road with no driver inside.

All three vehicles were damaged in the smash at the junction of Lobley Hill Road and Queensway north in Gateshead last September.

The defendant’s errand had been shopping. That is why she got into the Peugeot 307 without permission.

The defendant was extremely open with police at the scene. She was first to say she had had an epileptic attack at the wheel and was also content to accept that that had caused it.

Knowing of her epilepsy is the aggravating feature. It is a unique feature in many ways.

It was epilepsy she knew about. Notwithstanding that, she got in the car without his permission, without his knowledge, without his consent and has had a fit at the wheel.


The court heard Law had used the spare emergency key to drive the car, which had been parked on the couple’s drive.

Law, of Rose Street, Gateshead, admitted aggravated vehicle taking and driving with no licene or insurance.

The court heard she has held a provisional driving licence for over 20 years but has never sat a test and did not inform the DVLA of her epilepsy when it developed eight years ago.streaming Power Rangers 2017 film

Mr recorder Simon Phillips QC sentenced Law to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months with supervision and a two year road ban.

He said there was “no doubt” Law’s provisional licence would have been revoked if the authorities had known of her illness.

When you took it upon yourself to get into your partner’s car and drive it from your home address you did so knowing you were at risk of epileptic seizure.

There could have been fatalities.

It was a selfish act.

Your misconduct was dangerous and put other people at real risk in terms of their lives.


She has recklessly taken the car. Not in the sense of people taking cars, stealing them for joyriding, but for a genuine need to get some food.

She should have thought more about the risk because of her epilepsy.

She is exceedingly fearful today, she is shaking with fear, in a terrible state.

She is an absolutely broken lady.

She is a decent person who has made a stupid decision.

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