Pictured: Love note that divorced classic car fan left for woman a year after he killed her by crashing his vintage Daimler as he is spared jail

  • Andrew Newton killed Marilynn Kerrigan after taking her for a romantic trip
  • He shared the note on social media along with the hat she always wore

A classic car enthusiast who killed his ‘close’ friend while taking her for a romantic spin shared a love note about her on the anniversary of her death.

Andrew Newton, 69, was spared jail after a judge recognised his ‘genuine’ remorse, despite him failing to take a left-hand bend and colliding with an approaching car, killing his passenger Marilynn Kerrigan, 68, whom he had met on a dating website nine months earlier.

The pair had gone on to develop a ‘close’ relationship, a court was told.

Newton marked the anniversary of Ms Kerrigan’s death in a poignant social media post, signed off with three kisses.

He posted a picture of the note, which read: ‘We sat on this bench and planned our future, but alas not to be. 

Andrew Newton, who spared by a judge after he killed his ‘close’ friend while taking on a romantic spin, marked the anniversary of her death by sharing a love note on social media, marked with three kisses

‘I miss you so much my love. Why couldn’t (we) have had more time?’

In the message accompanied by pictures of himself and Ms Kerrigan, Newton described being taken to Lynn Crafnant by a friend.

He wrote: ‘Yesterday was one of the hardest days of my life as it was a year since I lost Marilynn Kerrigan. I never got the chance to say goodbye properly.

‘I took Marilynn’s hat and a red rose and writing paper for a letter. I sat on the lovers’ bench where we had sat and laughed and wrote that letter.

‘Marilynn was never without a hat, so I left it there for her with the rose and my note. Your memory will live on, not just with me but everyone you met.’

In a victim impact statement, widower Ms Kerrigan’s family described her as a ‘wonderful, generous auntie’ who was ‘kind, thoughtful and helpful’.

They said her death had left a ‘huge void’, adding: ‘To have her taken away from us in such tragic circumstances will haunt us for the rest of our lives.’

‘Our thoughts and prayers are also with the other people involved in this terrible tragedy.’

They added they held no ‘anger’ towards Newton because it would be against her wishes.

They said ‘Because she was such a kind and considerate person, we know she wouldn’t want us to carry anger forward if there was no deliberate blame for her death.’

‘I miss you so much my love. Why couldn’t (we) have had more time?’

The occupants of the second car, John and Vivien Wilson, were both seriously injured and airlifted to hospital. Some of Mrs Wilson’s injuries may never heal, the court was told.

Newton, who had pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving at an earlier hearing, was yesterday given a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for the same period, and a two-year driving ban.

Sentencing at Caernarfon Crown Court, Judge Nicola Saffman told him: ‘The reason you entered the incorrect lane isn’t known and will never be known. This was simply an error on your part.’

But the judge added Newton, a divorcee with at least one grown-up son, had ‘shown genuine remorse’ and had a clean driving record of 50 years.

The court heard the retired manufacturing company director – who has a passion for restoring and rebuilding vintage cars at his farm in Cossall, near Nottingham – had driven from his home in his 1969-built car to meet Ms Kerrigan.

They were travelling back from visiting one of her ‘most cherished’ Snowdonia beauty-spots – Llyn Crafnant – when the tragedy occurred on the A470 close to her home at Dolwyddelan, Snowdonia, on May 19, 2022.

Sion ap Mihangel, prosecuting, said Ms Kerrigan’s ashes have since been buried at Llyn Crafnant.

Occupants of other cars stopped to help the casualties including a student nurse, the court heard.

Mr ap Mihangel said: ‘Despite the best efforts of all those at the scene, tragically Marilynn Kerrigan died from multiple crush injuries.’

After sentencing, Ms Kerrigan’s family said they did not wish to make any further comment.

Andrew Newton met Marilynn Kerrigan on a dating website just nine months before she died

The court heard Ms Kerrigan was given CPR by paramedics but was pronounced dead while still at the scene.

Newton suffered a broken ankle, metatarsal, left wrist, right eye socket and ribs, and had his jaw broken in two places.

The court heard Mr and Mrs Wilson also suffered a series of serious injuries including a broken wrist, fractured ribs and internal bleeding.

Forensic collision investigators found there were no defaults to either vehicle – and that the accident was caused by the “actions of the defendant.”

Newton told police he had no recollection of the crash.

Richard Dawson, defending Newton, said: ‘This is a tragic case which has had catastrophic consequences.

‘There’s no sentence this court can impose which will form greater punishment than the torment he inflicts upon himself.

‘Ultimately no sentence can restore Marilynn Kerrigan to life, nor can it restore the Wilsons to full fitness.’

Mr Dawson added: ‘Ultimately he has accepted responsibility, by his plea of guilty, that it was his fault.”

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