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Car killer, 85, jailed. Justice? Tell us!

2015-01-29 13:40

OLDER DRIVER JAILED: Pensioner Geoffrey Lederman, 85, (left) was sentenced to 18 months in jail and banned from driving for life after he knocked down Desreen Brooks in a fatal driver error in 2012. Image: YouTube

LONDON, England - Geoffrey Lederman, 85, was sentenced at the Blackfriars Crown Court on December 22 2014, after his 1982 Mercedes mounted a pavement in West Hampstead and mowed down Desreen Brooks, 33, on November 10 2012.

Wheels24 asks: Should an octogenarian be jailed and banned from driving for life, should the elderly be given lenient sentences for driving incidents? Was his punishment too light and should he have been given the death sentence instead? Or, should they just not be behind the wheel at a certain age?

According to Ham and High news agency in the UK, a jury convicted Lederman for “causing death by dangerous driving" but not a lesser "...of grevious bodily harm" accusation.


Lederman was sentenced to 18 months in prison and banned from driving for the rest of his life.

CEO of GEM Motoring Assist (UK-based road-safety and breakdown recovery organisation) David Williams said: “The facts of this case are tragic but we must look beyond the issue of sentence length. GEM encourages people to stay mobile for as long as possible, as long as they are safe and competent.

“The (UK) licensing regime is so relaxed, so unlikely to be tightened in the short term, that we need to make sure that individuals can make sensible decisions about staying mobile, assisted where necessary by family members.”

Still Safe to Drive is a free web resource which helps people to stay mobile safely into later life in the UK.


Judge Peter Clarke, who had sentenced Lederman, said on December 22: “The sentence is not intended to make an example of you but it must be understood that old age cannot be seen as any excuse for dangerous or even careless driving.

“An elderly driver who knows or should acknowledge that he or she is losing his or her faculties is no less a danger than a drunken driver who knows the same.”

During the trial, Lederman’s lawyer argued his client had become “muddled” and “confused” just before the collision because of  lack of blood flow to his brain caused by a heart condition, Ham and High reported.

Clarke explained Lederman had “made the cardinal error of mistaking the accelerator for the brake” which led to him mounting a pedestrian-packed pavement in London 100km/h and hitting Brooks.

Lederman was allowed to skip his trial due to concerns about the effect it would have on his health.

Original story - with images - here.

Is Lederman's punishment too harsh or too light? What do you think his sentencing should have been? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts or use the Readers' Comments section below...

Read more on:    england  |  jail  |  punishment

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