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Jail 'inevitable' for in-car texting

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There is "never any excuse" for drivers to text or make calls while behind the wheel, according to top judges.

As well as risking more expensive car insurance premiums, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, said that motorists who continue to ignore the message face an "inevitable" custodial sentence.

He made his comments about the dangers of using mobile phones at the wheel at a review of a 21-month sentence imposed on a young woman for causing a death by dangerous driving.

The Court of Appeal heard that Philippa Curtis, 21, of The Street, Icklingham, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, had sent and received more than 20 texts before she hit the back of a stationary car.

Although she had not been using her phone at the time of the collision Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Lloyd Jones and Mr Justice Wyn Williams, said that the sentence was lenient, and could "arguably" be described as unduly lenient.

The case had been referred to the appeal judges by solicitor general Vera Baird to determine whether or not it was lenient.

Even though they decided the 21-month sentence was short, after "great care and concern" the term was not increased.

© Press Association 2009