Police, Fire & Court

Altrincham man jailed for two years for causing death of 25-year-old woman after “gambling on amber light” at Timperley junction

By David Prior at

An IT manager from Altrincham was today jailed for two years for causing the death of a 25-year-old woman after “gambling on an amber light” on Manchester Road in Timperley.

Glenn Wall, 35, of Lawrence Road, was sentenced at Manchester Crown Square and banned from driving for two years and 11 months

He had been convicted in November of causing the death of 25-year-old Helena Thurm, a former Altrincham Grammar School for Girls pupil who had previously worked at Riddles bar and House restaurant in Altrincham town centre.

The court heard that Helena was thrown 10 feet in the air by the force of the collision and died in hospital the next day.

Helena Thurm

Helena Thurm was described by her family as “beautiful, kind, caring, intelligent and funny”

In a tragic twist, it emerged today that her parents had driven past the scene of the incident soon after it had happened without knowing of their daughter’s involvement.

In an impact statement read out in court, Helena’s mother Sandra, 64, said: “We had driven past the scene of the collision and I could see the defendant talking to the police officer and a paramedic. An hour later we were told that Helena had been hit by a car.

“She was an innocent young woman who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. She had so much to live for and unfulfilled potential.

“She always used to say that her dream job was to work in marketing and it is even more tragic that she was killed in her way back a job interview that day.

“Helena was starting a new chapter in her life of happiness and promise and she has been deprived of so much. We have to pass the scene when we leave or arrive home and we can no longer bear to live there as the memories are too painful.

Glenn Wall was sentenced to two years in prison

“We have been forced to leave and move elsewhere. As a family we cannot express enough how much trauma this has left us in.”

The incident happened at around 6.10pm on Monday 20th June 2016 when Helena was crossing Manchester Road close to the junction with Park Road when she was hit by Wall’s black Vauxhall Astra.

In another family statement delivered to court, Helena’s brother Stephen, 30, said: “Driving a car is something which some people take all too frivolously and lightly even though it can ultimately be a killing machine.

“Your selfish and thoughtless actions to get home quicker through traffic ended up taking someone’s life.

Manchester Road closed off soon after the incident last June

Manchester Road closed off soon after the incident last June

“You may get what I see as a very brief custodial sentence, but my family and I will have a life sentence of loss and grief. Even though you were proven to be at fault it will ultimately be all of our family who pay the much heavier price.

“But the one you should be most repentant to is not here today, Helena, my lovely, wonderful sister. Every day you should ask for her forgiveness.

“To me Helena wasn’t just my little sister, she was also someone I lived with, worked with and constantly socialised with, and above all she was my best friend and someone who I had looked after since I was just three years old.

“She was the person in the world who I loved the most and her death has devastated my life. It has broken me and I no longer feel the same person who I was before.

“She was always there for me, she knew me better than anyone else in the world. The bond was irreplaceable and special, I never expected that to be broken and her life to have been ended in such a tragic way at such a young age.

Glenn Wall arriving at court in Manchester today

“Since she was killed a year and a half ago I have quit my job due to the grief and I find life a constant depressing struggle and the one person who would most understand my pain and grief, Helena is no longer here to help me through that.”

Police Constable Paul Hailwood, of GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Wall’s dangerous actions that evening took the life of a woman who had her whole life ahead of her, robbing those close to her of a much loved daughter, sister and friend.

“Helena’s death left her family absolutely devastated and no prison sentence can bring her back but I hope it will bring them some sense of justice to see the man responsible jailed.

“Being in control of a car is no small responsibility of which the consequences can be heart breaking, as is sadly the case here.”

Additional photography: Cavendish Press