Stannah Stairlift boss’ wife given suspended sentence after car accident leads to tragic fatality
Andrea Stannah, the wife of Stannah Stairlift’s Managing Director Nicholas Stannah, was spared a prison sentence after being found guilty of causing death by careless driving.
In July 2018, 45-year-old Andrea Stannah was returning to her home in Hampshire following dropping her children to school when she pulled across a dual carriageway, failing to notice a number of vehicles including 56-year-old civil engineer and motorcyclist Steven Rayner.
Witnesses recounted to the Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court how they had been forced to brake to avoid Andrea Stannah’s 4×4 Land Rover Discovery as she crossed a busy junction on the A31. As she pulled across the busy road, she failed to spot Mr Rayner on his motorcycle, resulting in the motorcyclist colliding with Andrea Stannah’s front near-side wing.
Following the impact, Mr Rayner crashed into a tree and a fence. The court heard how Andrea Stannah had to be “dragged away” from Mr Rayner’s body as she desperately tried to assist him.
Stannah’s lawyer, Alex Stein, told the court: “It’s caused terrible damage to Mr Rayner’s family as well, and she is extremely remorseful.
“She had to be pulled away from Mr Rayner because she was trying to assist where possible.”
Admitting to the charge of causing death by driving without due care and attention, the stairlift MD’s wife was given a one-year ban from driving, as well as an eight-week suspended jail sentence and a £200 fine.
District Judge Timothy Pattinson said: ‘All cases of causing death by careless driving are tragic.
‘This case is particularly tragic, involving the death of a family man with wife and children. The court extends its deepest sympathy to the family of Mr Rayner.”
Speaking after the sentencing, PC Kelly Hargreaves said: “This case shows how devastating just a few moments of inattention can be when behind the wheel.
“Had Stannah taken a few extra moments to look properly and check the road again, she would have seen Mr Rayner’s motorbike and his family wouldn’t be facing the rest of their lives without him.”
Dating back to the 1860s, Stannah is one of the most successful stairlift players in the mobility market, with the family business turning over more the £200million annually from operations across the globe.
Stannah chairmen and brothers Brian and Alan Stannah jointly placed in The Sunday Times Rich List in 2018, ranking as the 693rd richest people in the UK’s 1,000 richest people.