The case over the death of Catriona Patel concluded today.
In brief, Dennis Putz ran over Catriona Patel whilst driving a lorry. He was estimated to be 40% over the drink-drive limit and was chatting on a mobile at the time of the accident.
The court heard that Putz had been jailed twice before for driving offences, a six-month sentence in 1995 for reckless driving and, in 2003, after 16 counts of driving a lorry while disqualified.)
Yes, that is 16 counts of driving a lorry whilst disqualified.
And the company that Putz was driving for? One called Thames Materials Ltd. According to the above LCC news release :
Thames Materials Ltd failed several inspections, the company and its drivers had many convictions. In 2002 the Traffic Commissioner tried to revoke its licence to operate lorries, but this was overturned on appeal.
Dennis Putz was convicted of death by careless driving. He got a 7 year prison term and a lifetime HGV ban (which judging by the fact that he flouted previous bans at least 16 times may not be such a huge deterrent to him).
Meanwhile an innocent woman is dead, and a family destroyed.
I cannot help but think that this entire appalling story is a complete indictment on how our judiciary deal with law breaking on our roads.