Woman charged with death of “superstar”

A WOMAN accused of causing a 15-year-old girl’s death in an incident outside her school has appeared in court.

Wednesday, 11th July 2012, 7:00 am

Helen McLoughlin appeared at Wakefield Magistrates Court charged with causing Upton teenager Imogen Young’s death by careless driving.

Imogen’s parents Sarah and Mike Bentham were in court with other family members for the brief hearing on Wednesday, June 27.

The Ackworth School student suffered fatal injuries when she was struck by a 4x4 near the gates of the private school at around 4pm on Monday, October 10, last year.

Prosecutors claim 37-year-old McLoughlin, of Mill Close, Pontefract, was driving a Land Rover Freelander without due care and attention on Station Road at Ackworth when the vehicle allegedly struck Imogen.

McLoughlin appeared in court last week, speaking only to confirm her name, age and address. No pleas were entered.

District Judge Marie Mallon granted McLoughlin unconditional bail and told her to return for a further hearing at Wakefield Magistrates Court on August 8.

Judge Mallon said: “I have determined the case is so serious it must go eventually to crown court.”

After the hearing, Mrs Bentham, 48, of Upton, said Imogen’s death had left her family “devastated.”

Mrs Bentham, an exams administrator at Ackworth School, said: “We miss her terribly. It leaves such a massive hole in your life that you can’t fill.

“Imogen was amazing. She was a vibrant, colourful, lively, talented and beautiful girl. She excelled at music and had a beautiful singing voice.

“She was a terrific little actress and she was a superstar the world has never seen.”

Mrs Bentham said Imogen had three sisters – Sophie, 21, Bethany, 20 and Sian, 15, and 19-year-old brother Alex

The family have set up the Imogen Young Trust Fund in her memory to give opportunities to promising young singers.

A webpage has been set up for the trust, which also includes videos of Imogen singing and tributes to her, including a reading that her sisters Sophie and Beth read at her funeral.

It reads: “With her kind, carefree and spirited attitude, it’s no wonder so many people loved her. We don’t think even she realised how many friends she had. You couldn’t imagine how such a huge personality could fit into such a little person.”

As part of the trust’s fundraising, a relay run along Hadrian’s wall is being held by 10 pupils and four teachers at Ackworth School.

The run is also in memory of Alice Greenwood, another former pupil of the school who died aged 12 in a car crash in 2008.

Pippa Pudney, 16, is one of the students doing the run and was one of Imogen’s close friends.

She said: “In our first year of school, the whole year group took a trip to Hadrian’s Wall with Immy and Alice.

“As the run is to raise money in memory of both Immy and Alice, we felt we should go somewhere which we could connect with both of them in some way.”

The run is set to take place on September 8 and 9. To support the event search Alice & Imogen Charity Run on Facebook.

The trust can be found at http://imogenyoung.tv.