Judge explains why bride-to-be bonnet driver was spared jail
SHELLY Bertram's dangerous driving was serious, insane and madness, a judge said as he spared her prison.
But judge David Melville QC said he had several reasons not to jail Bertram, who runs a firm and is £4,000 in debt.
The judge read a reference from Bertram’s son – singer Tom Bertram – where he said she had looked after him after a heart valve transplant, following a widely-reported cocaine addiction.
Sentencing yesterday, judge Melville said: ‘When I first read these papers there was going to be only one destination for you at the end of this hearing.
‘I couldn’t anticipate somebody in your position that could fall out with their future fiancé so astonishingly that you were then driving for 3.5 miles, swerving, trying to shake him off, ultimately on to the motorway and then off a motorway.
‘Anybody that read that story would say there’s only one possible destination for you, and that’s a significant period of custody. And to find that person, as well, that person had suffered such significant injuries, there could be no question that should happen.’
But he said he was prepared to suspended her prison sentence.
The reasons were that she had no convictions for similar offences, the offence was ‘out of character’, that she was a ‘remarkable’ mother to her son and a good daughter to her own mother, and that she was the sole carer for her 17-year-old son.
He added: ‘For those reasons I think it’s appropriate that your immediate custodial sentence can be suspended.
‘I can imagine that you will not be before any court ever again.’
But he said he was concerned in her probation report it seemed she did not realise the seriousness of the offences.
He added: ‘It’s very, very serious to drive like this with anybody on the bonnet on your car and to have done it for 3.5 miles really beggars belief.’
James Caldwell added: ‘Her life is, due to the action on that night, in ruins.’
He said she at first acted ‘impulsively’ and is shortly due to have a laparoscopy.