(CMR) Jordan Telford (40), who pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving in the death of Shemiah Grant, was sentenced to 55 months or four years and 7 months in prison in the Grand Court on Friday, 14 July.
Telford was arrested after the car he was driving collided with a bike being driven by Shemiah Grant, who died from injuries sustained in the crash in May 2021. The court heard that Telford's Hyundai motorcar veered into the right lane of the road while initiating a bend. The car then collided with Grant's bike, which was traveling in the opposite direction.
Telford, who had 13 previous convictions, including for speeding and driving without insurance, admitted he was using his cell phone while driving, and investigations revealed he sent a message mere seconds before the crash.
Justice Cheryll Richards started the sentence at 84 months but added 12 months because Telford was previously arrested for driving while using a phone, with a conviction just 16 days before the fatal crash.
After considering mitigating circumstances, including that he had health issues and applying a one-third reduction for a guilty plea, Telford was sentenced to 55 months in prison. He was also disqualified from driving for seven years after his release from prison.
In handing down the sentence, Justice Richards said Telford had a flagrant disregard for the rules of the road.
“His driving was dangerous, and to make matters worse, he was driving without insurance,” she said, noting that he was driving without insurance for months.
Blood tests after the crash showed Telford had been drinking and had prescription medication in his system. Telford admitted to drinking three Heinekens at a bar before leaving to visit his girlfriend; the crash happened while he was en route.
The court heard that he took full responsibility and has shown remorse for the crash and experienced some level of trauma as a result of the crash.
Grant's family had requested that Telford be ordered by the court to pay compensation of over $39,000, the cost incurred as a result of Grant's death, and that he made a monthly payment. However, the judge said the order could not be made because Telford had no money.
It was revealed during the trial that Grant's death left his children without the financial support to which they are accustomed; however, the defense said Telford had no means to pay the compensation requested by the family.
Time already served will be taken into account in Telford's sentence. The judge also ordered counseling and psychological evaluation while he is in prison.