‘I only wish I could have seen what she was going to become’ - mum speaks out after driver given two year jail sentence for death of teen moped rider

Jess Danby
Jess Danby

A Lincolnshire mother has made an emotional tribute to her ‘special daughter’ after watching the driver who caused her death jailed for two years.

Philip Paddington-Wheatcroft, 54, was sentenced to two years imprisonment at Lincoln Crown Court on Friday after he pleaded guilty to causing the death of teenager Jess Danby, 19, by dangerous driving.

Philip Paddington-Wheatcroft arriving at Lincoln Crown Court.

Philip Paddington-Wheatcroft arriving at Lincoln Crown Court.

The court was told Paddington-Wheatcroft crashed head-on in to a moped being ridden Jess after overtaking a HGV tractor unit in dense fog on the A52 at Frampton Fen, Lincs.

Jess, from Donington, Lincs, was travelling to Cafe Nero in Boston where she worked as a popular Barista when the collision happened on 1 October, 2015. The court heard Jess was also training to become an actress after completing a performing arts course at New College in Stamford.

Miss Danby’s mother, Dawn Ducker, was in court to watch Paddington-Wheatcroft jailed and described her daughter as ‘very special’.

Speaking after the hearing Mrs Ducker, 44, paid tribute to Jess who was diagnosed with autism at the late age of 17.

“She was such a popular girl and had overcome so much,” Mrs Ducker said. “After she died I was contacted by people I didn’t even know, she had made such an impact on so many people.

“She had struggled with her autism but in recent years she had really blossomed.

“She was determined to make it as an actress and I just know she would have got there in the end. I know she would have done it as she turned herself to anything.

“One day she met a pilot. She told him ‘she would love to fly a plane.’ The next thing he took her up in his plane.

“She did the same when she met a stonemason. She was just that kind of girl. I only wish I could have seen what she was going to become.”

Paddington-Wheatcroft, of Main Road, Sibsey, was also banned from driving for four years and ordered to take an extended driving test. Passing sentence on him Judge Simon Hirst described his overtaking as ‘virtually inexplicable’.

Mrs Ducker added: “The sentence is no consolation at all, it won’t bring Jess back.”